Join cartographer and veteran walk leader, BenPease, for a scenic, moderately strenuous three-mile walk from Geary, the main commercial drag of the Richmond District, beyond the Avenues into the wilds of Lands End, and then south along the coastal shore of the great Pacific.
Today, the only way to reach Lands End quickly from downtown is by vehicle (car or bus) or bicycle. But at one time, you could take Sutro’s Ferries & Cliff House Railroad through Richmond. Later, as Geary became an important commercial corridor, it was home to some of San Francisco’s earliest and most trafficked streetcar lines, the A-Geary and B-Geary, which terminated at Playland-at- the-Beach, one of the walk’s planned stops.
Worse yet, Geary is currently one of the city’s notorious high-injury corridors, the most dangerous 12% of streets where 70% of serious and fatal crashes are concentrated.
Poorly designed intersections make Geary a safety hazard for neighbors, including children at nearby schools and seniors at local aging centers. Moreover, traffic congestion keeps the 38-Geary moving at a crawl, making daily commutes for nearly 60,000 passengers (the highest number of any Muni route) slow and unreliable.
Thankfully (after a decade of delay), a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan for Geary has been approved. Starting in downtown, safety and transit improvements are scheduled to begin by the end of 2017, returning Geary to a more traffic-calmed, transit-friendly and walkable street. Imagine – the BRT will afford travelers almost the same level of access to the natural delights at the western shore that Sutro offered in 1866!
Walk highlights include Lands End, Sutro Baths, and Sutro Heights Park. Various trails lead to the proposed pedestrian plaza at La Playa and Judah, at the N-Judah turn-around.
The walk ends at Judahlicious for an optional lunch.
Ben Pease is a cartographer and author of the Walker’s Map of San Francisco and was one of the contributors to Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. Ben is long-time Richmond District resident, member of the Sutro Stewards, and for the past 22 years, has been a walk leader of the annual four-day San Francisco Bay Coastwalk.
Walk SF’s monthly members walk begins on Sunday, May 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – walk will proceed rain or shine, barring high winds or dangerous weather.
- Wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes
- Carry rain gear and sunhat as needed
- Stock sunblock, water, and personal snacks