Supervisor Scott Wiener Calls for Hearing on the Impacts of Historic Preservation On Other Public Policies, and Also Calls for Hearing on the J Church Muni Line
Potential Designation of Golden Gate Park and the North Beach Library as Landmarks Highlights Policy Conflicts
January 25, 2011 — At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will call for a hearing to explore how our City government’s increasing prioritization of historic preservation is impacting, and possibly undermining, other key policy objectives. With an increasing number of neighborhoods being surveyed as historic districts and with recent efforts to landmark the North Beach Library, several significant city parks, and even roadway medians, Supervisor Wiener believes the time is right to discuss how to balance historic preservation with other important policy goals.
“Historic preservation is important for our city, but it’s not our only goal – it’s one key public policy among many,” said Wiener. “I’m concerned that, at times, historic preservation may be trumping other important goals, like creating affordable housing, providing modern park facilities and libraries, and improving pedestrian safety.”
Supervisor Wiener cites the pending proposal to landmark Golden Gate Park, including many trees within the park, as an example of his concern. “Imposing overly broad historic preservation controls on our parks may undermine their ability to operate efficiently and could impose significant costs that will hinder funding for park staffing, maintenance, and capital improvements,” said Wiener. If Golden Gate Park and other parks such as Dolores Park are deemed landmarks, many decisions by the Recreation and Park Department will have to be approved and supervised by the Historic Preservation Commission. Landmarking parks also will require significant expenditures for historic preservation, which will reduce already scarce park funding.
Similar concerns exist about increasing historic districts to the point that they impede the creation of new housing, particularly transit-oriented infill housing and affordable housing. Supervisor Wiener intends for the hearing to lead to a productive discussion about balancing the various important policy goals that will improve San Franciscans quality of life.
J Church Hearing
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Supervisor Wiener will call for a hearing to address concerns about the unreliability of the J Church Muni line.
The J Church has been plagued with inaccurate GPS tracking and inconsistent train frequency. In calling for the hearing, Supervisor Wiener wants to know why the J Church has been running so inefficiently, what can be done immediately to alleviate these problems, and what can be done in the future, including possible physical changes to the line.
“If we don’t provide consistent and reliable transit service for riders, they won’t incorporate public transportation into their daily routines,” said Wiener. “This will lead to greater traffic congestion and parking difficulties throughout the city.”
For more information, please contact Supervisor Wiener at 554-6968 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact his staff, Gillian Gillett (email@example.com) and Adam Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org).