This letter was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in response to an error in their 26-Mar-2004 editorial, S.F.'s squeaky wheels. The Chronicle did not deem this letter fit to print.
Editor -- You describe the $50 million underground parking garage project in Golden Gate Park as approved by "an overwhelming majority." This is not accurate. Voters had two opportunities to approve a publicly-funded de Young museum and parking garage, and voted no on both occasions. In 1998 the project was split into two ballot measures: Proposition A, for a publicly-funded museum, which voters rejected yet again; and Proposition J, for a privately-funded parking garage, which voters approved. The garage project that emerged, however, violated provisions of Prop J, notably by scheming to use public funds. It is therefore not the project that voters approved, and Judge Kevin McCarthy's ruling affirms that fact. Your editorial ends by mentioning the Smithsonian Institution and the American Museum of National History. The former has no parking at all and the latter did not destroy parts of Central Park to build a parking garage. Both strongly encourage patrons to use public transit. It seems, then, that the de Young and its advocates at the Chronicle should be advocating transit, not cars, if they wish to follow the lead of world-class institutions in world-class cities. Jym Dyer Trees Not Cars San Francisco