Twin Peaks road closure may become permanent in 2020

The east side of the figure-eight shaped road at the top of Twin Peaks will remain closed to cars until at least 2020 — at which time, the closure may become permanent.

That’s after a unanimous vote by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors Tuesday, who approved limiting vehicle access to a street known for its sweeping views of The City.

But while the street is closed to cars, it’s not closed, said Josie Ahrens, a neighborhood organizer with the Walk San Francisco advocacy group.

“It’s currently closed to cars, or as we like to say, open to people,” she told the board before the vote.

In 2016, the SFMTA board approved closing Twin Peaks Boulevard’s eastern portion to vehicles in an effort to give walkers and cyclists easier access to the summit’s stunning views of San Francisco’s east side. The closure did restrict vehicle access to Christmas Tree Point, known for its quarter-fed binoculars and available parking.

That closure was a pilot, slated to be voted on to be made permanent or stopped this year. SFMTA staff asked for an extension, and said there may be an opportunity to resdesign the pedestrian and cyclist features at the hilltop, which features only pavement now.

Asumu Takikawa, a Richmond District resident, voiced support for the project and told the board “One of the best things about San Francisco is your ability to access nature and open space without owning a car.”

Lincoln Lighthill, a San Francisco native and Twin Peaks resident, said he supports the project but hopes staff will craft a robust pedestrian and cyclist destination, like the Highline in New York City. Right now, he said, the top of Twin Peaks is just asphalt.

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