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Scenic

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Ease

September 1998
8.9 mi.  AVS10-28est   G13,12   20-50" 

From a 6/6 lanes in Daly City to 3/3 as 19th Ave. and Park Presidio Blvd. Expressway through The Presidio is 2/2 barrier divided until the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge is 5 lanes, varying 2/3 to 3/2 as defined by a moveable baton line. County line is at the north tower of the bridge.

Events: Northbound from the San Mateo County line (main events only)
0.0: San Mateo County line
0.9: Expwy ends, becomes 19th Ave
1.6: Stonestown
2.1: Sloat Ave, Sigmund Stern Grove
4.2: Lincoln Ave, enter Golden Gate Park
4.6: 25th St exit (left)
5.1: Fulton St, begin Park Presidio section
5.6: Geary St
6.0: Lake St, becomes expressway through The Presidio
6.4: General Douglas Macarthur Tunnel
7.1: Marina Blvd, Downtown (JCT Hwy 101)
7.5: View Area, last SF exit
7.6: enter Golden Gate Bridge
8.9: north tower and Marin County line

Hwy 1 crosses the city as 19th Ave. and Park Presidio Blvd, a transformation to city streets which involves 29 traffic lights and is generally slow. The slowness is due mostly to local traffic, which is frequently intense through this inner-city commute corridor. Peak times are during rush hour and exodus from the city on weekends after 12 noon. Adding to the problem are poorly times lights, especially along Park Presidio. Leaving the city, for example, at about 1:30pm on a Saturday can be very frustrating along Hwy 1 in either direction and take 30-40 minutes. The key congestion points are on 19th between Vicente and Junipero Serra and northbound on Park Presidio during a weekend afternoon. The southbound approach across the Golden Gate Bridge is a major commuter bottleneck. A typical rush hour evening commute can back up traffic for two miles along the Waldo Grade. It is especially relevant to note that this bottleneck also applies on weekend late afternoon and evenings as many people leave and return to the city to visit the parks of Marin County. 19th Ave and Park Presidio both share the feature of no left turns as a traffic abatement strategy. This applies uniformly throughout their span, the only exceptions being inside Golden Gate Park. This is useful to note in advance.

Scenically Hwy 1 poorly represents the city, as it manages to avoid any interesting sights. It passes next to Sigmund Stern Grove, and through Golden Gate Park and The Presidio, but not in a way which accesses these parks well or easily. There is a good access to Golden Gate Park as it crosses Martin Luther King Jr Way. The Presidio can be accessed at one point only, a last chance northbound exit near the toll plaza which then accesses Merchant St and hence Lincoln Blvd. Stern Grove is best addressed from a westbound turn onto Sloat, which again is not possible in the northbound direction.
An alternative to Hwy 1 for transecting the city this way follows this description. It may add 10-30 minutes, but contrasts by being very scenic, accessing all the interesting parks while still staying to major streets.

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This route accesses the following: Thornton Beach, Fort Funston, Lake Merced, The San Francisco Zoo, Ocean Beach, Golden Gate Park and Beach Chalet, The Cliff House, Land's End Area, Sutro Heights Park, Palace of the Legion of Honor, China Beach, Baker Beach, The Presidio & Presidio Cliffs, Fort Point (optionally), and finally crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Notice the bolded points—these are the most spectacular natural areas.

Use Hwy 35-Skyline Blvd from JCT with Hwy 1 in Daly City. Follow Skyline north until Great Highway (left, west). Follow Great Highway 3 miles to The Cliff House where it turns sharply and becomes Point Lobos Ave. Point Lobos joins and becomes Geary Blvd. Turn left/north on 34th Av and continue straight as it becomes Legion of Honor Dr. Pass the Legion of Honor and turn right/east on El Camino Del Mar. Follow El Camino Del Mar and take special care to stay on it in within the winding streets of the Seacliff district. El Camino Del Mar will become Lincoln Blvd as it moves into The Presidio. Follow Lincoln as it winds up towards the Golden Gate Bridge and turn left/west on Merchant St just before Lincoln crosses under the Doyle Expressway. Merchant St will lead to a tourist view area which allows entrance onto the bridge just south of the toll plaza. The route has now rejoined 1/101 northbound heading into Marin county.

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