Bluff Failures on The Sunset Trail
"In order to carry out our mission, we must ensure that park sites are physically accessible to all. We take our mission seriously and strive to ensure that those with disabilities can enjoy the resources that make this park special..." ........ "We approach accessibility in many different ways, and welcome input from visitors and experts in the field as well as from our park staff." ........ "The EOC [Equal Opportunity Committee] mission statement includes the park serving as a National Park Service model when complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and ensuring that accessibility standards are met or surpassed parkwide at all facilities and in all programs." - G.G.N.R.A. General Superintendent Brian O'Neill
all of above in: Park News, Fall '99 G.G.N.R.A. magazine: www.nps.gov/fopo/parknews/fall99/parknews.htm
"Accessibility: Fort Mason Center: with advance notice, arrangements can be made for people with mobility impairments and wheelchair users, (415) 441-5706. Fort Point and The bookstore: video screening room and rest rooms are accessible. Muir Woods National Monument: all paved trails are handicapped accessible. Alcatraz: rest rooms at the dock and at the top of the hill are accessible, as is the main level of the cellhouse. The Blue & Gold Fleet, the ferry ride is accessible. SEAT (Sustainable Easy Access Transport) vehicle is available on Alcatraz for accessible transport to the cellhouse. Presidio: visitor center, main post walk and Golden Gate Promenade are accessible. Crissy Field: portions are accessible. Fort Funston: wheelchair accessible, loop trail. Cliff House: limited accessibility."
- from main page of G.G.N.R.A. website at: www.nps.gov/goga (bold added)
The Sunset Trail is an important and very popular section of Fort Funston. For many people visiting the Fort for the first time, it's their Main Street. It heads right out from the parking lot, towards a beautiful view of the coast and the Marin headlands. It's long been used by dog walkers, tourists, whale-watchers, folks interested in its historic gun-batteries -- and especially by people with wheelchairs and strollers, because it's a paved trail. Or, rather, it was paved. Then out of the blue one day early this year, the Sunset Trail was closed, apparently for good, if not for good reason.
In the "Declaration of Mary Gibson Scott in Opposition to Temporary Restraining Order" starting at paragraph 12 on page 3 and continuing through the verification paragraph and signature the declaration reads: "12. A portion of the Sunset Trail was closed due to failing and eroding pavement on an emergency basis. It was reopened on March 9, 2000, following the removal of a 1,200 foot unsafe section of paved area which was undermined by bluff failures. Two benches were removed because they were unsafe and in a deteriorated condition. It is anticipated that the benches will be replaced by March 31, 2000. I declare under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge. Dated this 13th of March, 2000 Mary Gibson Scott"
This photo was taken after the recent removal of the pavement on the Sunset Trail. It shows the one small area of roadway erosion on the entire trail. Do you have any photos that might help establish the true condition of the pavement and benches last fall? Please click here to let the Fort Funston Forum know! Thanks. - Editor.
How much money was spent to tear out and move around this asphalt? Why was it considered OK to simply shut down a major trail, one that the GGNRA itself mentions on its own website as being noteworthy for its accessibility?
Now, and only thanks to strong protests a few weeks ago, the Sunset Trail is said to be "open" -- with new benches, which weren't needed -- but it's not open to most people who use wheelchairs or strollers, because of the uneven surface and deep sand.
Once again, we're left in the dark. Is the trail to be re-paved? Left as is? Closed again? Will that depend once more on how much of a stink people make about it?
Sunset on the Sunset Trail, March 29, 2000.
Comments at GGNRA Advisory Commission
-- especially those of John Cranshaw, Jeff Ward & Florence Sarrett.