How Sustainable Transportation Took Huge Strides in San Francisco

By Peter Belden

The Sierra Club San Francisco Group helped achieve many big victories in 2022 for sustainable transportation: 

  • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to make the car-free JFK Promenade permanent, expanding safe space for sustainable transportation and recreation. Key partners in this victory included KidSafeSF, Community Spaces SF, the SF Bike Coalition, Walk SF, the Church of 8 Wheels, and more. Thanks to many of you who sent letters in support of car-free JFK
  • San Francisco voters passed Sierra Club endorsed Proposition J by a landslide 63% to 37% making the car-free JFK Promenade permanent. Working with the same partners listed above, this was an even bigger victory than the prior win because of its wide margin of victory. 
  • Sierra Club endorsed Proposition L was also passed by San Francisco voters to continue critical funding for public transit which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Key partners in this campaign included the San Francisco Transit Riders Union and more. 
  • By an even bigger landslide (65% to 35%), voters rejected Proposition I, which the Sierra Club also opposed. The defeat of Proposition I means that the car-free JFK Promenade will remain, car-free weekends on the Great Highway Park will continue, and the city can implement its climate adaptation plans to permanently close the Great Highway extension to protect the wastewater treatment plant from sea level rise. Key partners include those mentioned and more.  
  • Continuing the victories at the ballot box, Proposition N was passed which enables the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to take control of the concourse parking garage under the JFK Promenade, expanding garage access and helping to secure the permanence of the car-free JFK Promenade.
  • During the summer, a slow bike ride sponsored by the Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter was held on the JFK Promenade and the Great Highway Park. 
  • In December, the SFMTA board of directors voted unanimously to make 16 slow streets permanent, expanding space for sustainable transportation like walking and biking. The San Francisco Group had endorsed making many slow streets permanent (namely Lake Street). Partners included the slow streets "mayors" (volunteer leaders) around the city, KidSafeSF, Community Spaces SF, the SF Bike Coalition, the SF Parks Alliance, Walk SF, and more. 
  • Last but not least, the San Francisco Group Transportation Committee grew to include roughly a dozen members!

Want to help us have even more success in 2023? Have ideas for what the Sierra Club can do to promote sustainable transportation? Get involved with the Sierra Club San Francisco Group's Transportation Committee which meets online on the first Monday of each month. To join a meeting or the listserv, contact Peter Belden at

Peter Belden is the SF Group Transportation Committee Chair.