November 2018: Vote Yes on A to strengthen our seawall and protect San Francisco

The San Francisco Seawall is a critically important, but invisible, piece of city infrastructure. It extends along the eastern edge of the city, all the way from Mission Creek to Fisherman’s Wharf, keeping water out of the city’s downtown. The Seawall protects buildings, Muni and BART tunnels, and electrical and sewer systems. It was completed in 1920 (after 40 years of construction) before modern seismic standards existed. It is almost 100 years old. The Seawall is vulnerable to earthquakes as well as sea level rise — which means, so are we.

Prop A proposes to evaluate, strengthen, and repair the Seawall, working with city transportation planners and public outreach to identify the best options. Funds would be used for:

  1. Earthquake Projects (Ground strengthening and liquefaction remediation; Constructing a new Seawall; Wall, wharf, and pier retrofits and replacements; Building retrofits and seismic joints; Utility replacements, relocations, and bypasses)

  2. Flood Protection Projects (Flood walls and barriers; Changes to surface grading; enhance foundation)

  3. Mitigation and Enhancement Projects (Public access, transportation, environmental, or other benefits that may be identified as work is planned)

This measure would not raise taxes, as it is part of the city’s General Bond planning; new debt is issued when old bonds expire. The bond leverages other funding as well, including state, federal, and private funding. Strengthening the Seawall will be expensive, but letting it fail would be far more costly.

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters supports Prop A because there is a serious need to repair this basic infrastructure that keeps water out of our downtown. This kind of planning, to protect our infrastructure over the long term in the face of a changing environment, is the kind of planning our cities should be doing. This is good government. It’s also smart climate adaptation planning. We only wish all our city, state, and national planning for climate change was like this.

Vote yes on Proposition A.