San Francisco Might Soon Have a “John Burton Highway”

Although as an Assembly member and senator he routinely opposed legislation naming parts of the state transportation system after lawmakers, dead peace officers or famous Californians, state Democratic Party Chair John Burton is likely to have a sliver of asphalt bearing his name.

A unanimous vote by the Senate sent SCR 93 to Gov. Jerry Brown on August 30. The bill names a bridge over Interstate 905 in Southern California after Randy Sanchez, a Caltrans worker killed in a traffic accident in 2004, and designates Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco the “John Burton Highway.”

Sloat runs east from the Great Highway before dead ending after 19th Ave at Santa Clara.  

A home at 8 Sloat Boulevard is owned by the John L. Burton Revocable Trust, a Google search reveals. The Burton family’s first home in San Francisco was on Kirkham Street in the Sunset. Burton’s mother, Mildred, originally owned the home on Sloat.

The resolution renaming the street includes the following:

“Senator Burton was originally elected to the California State Assembly in 1965 where he served until 1974. After serving as a representative in the United States Congress, he returned to the California State Assembly in 1988 and served until 1996.

“Burton served as a California State Senator from 1996 until 2004, representing the 3rd district. From 1998 until leaving office due to term limits in 2004, he served as the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate.”

The resolution says the former lawmaker, who turns 80 on December 15, is known for “championing a wide range of legislative measures, including, but not limited to, legislation to strengthen occupational safety, protect women and children from domestic violence, provide affordable infant and child care, widen the scope of the Cal Grant program, and protect the environment.”

Burton also introduced legislation to make poverty a crime and successfully banned the sale of foie gras in California.

As a member of the Transportation Committee Burton routinely voted against naming bills like the one honoring him and, as leader of the Senate, effectively placed a moratorium on passage of nearly such measures.

He stresses it won’t be a memorial highway any time soon.

Sloat Boulevard is named after Commodore John Drake Sloat who landed in California in 1846, raised the American flag over the Customs House in Monterey and claimed the territory for the United States. He was briefly the military governor of California then handed the job to Robert Stockton from whom the San Joaquin County city gets its name.



  1. Resolutions do not go to the Governor.

    Comment by Linda — 8.31.2012 @ 2:54 pm

  2. I love it. I can hear the traffic reports now: Burton’s smothered in fog or You can’t get there taking Burton or Access limited to Burton due to congestion. With all due respects to the author I think that John would prefer his name on a homeless shelter.

    Comment by Bill Leonard — 8.31.2012 @ 4:47 pm

  3. This is so wrong. Tell Fiona Ma to go rename her own street. I will never vote for her again. Idiot.

    Comment by Sanfran Resident — 9.03.2012 @ 6:05 pm

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