THE BLOG
10/24/2013 01:42 pm ET Updated Dec 24, 2013

The Re-Ruination of the Waterfront

Those of us who lived in San Francisco at the time well remember the ruination of the waterfront by the double decker freeway that ran its length. A monstrosity, the freeway successfully blocked the city from its own bay shore, and made the waterfront itself into an industrial slum worthy of many parts of present-day Detroit.

At street level, everything shivered in the constant windy darkness provided by the freeway. Traffic noise from the structure made conversation close to impossible (although, since the freeway made the free passage of the populace back and forth so unpleasant, conversation on the empty streets below it was simply non-existent.) It blocked the sun. Garbage and detritus blew around everywhere, and San Francisco recoiled from the humorless imprisonment imposed upon it by this idiotic cement and steel edifice.

The earthquake of 1989 brought an end to all that. The damaged freeway ultimately was torn down, and now the waterfront is a walkway for literally thousands of citizens and visitors every day. It provides an open vista that takes in both the bay to the east and the glories of the city itself to the west. Light abounds everywhere. The weather is terrific. Laughter, talk, fellow feeling and civic grace are the constant results.

Go down there and take a look. San Francisco is once again the jewel of the West.

However, developers now plan to build a very large and very tall eyesore at 8 Washington Street, at the corner with The Embarcadero. This huge apartment structure has no merit other than the lining of the pockets of the developers. It will be the beginning of the re-ruination of the San Francisco waterfront, something the citizenry thought existed now only in exceptionally bad dreams.

If passed, Measures B and C on the ballot in the coming November election will allow this to happen. The building complex is a tasteless insult and, down the road a few decades, it will be a slum. Its construction will begin the ultimate return of squalor and darkness to the San Francisco waterfront.

Vote no on B and C.