For 30 years Friedel and San Francisco Beautiful fought local and state planners, and legislators tempted by federal funds to build freeways throughout the City – specifically along the Northern Waterfront, the Embarcadero, and through Golden Gate Park.
From the January 2, 1969 Planning Commission meeting minutes:
Mrs. Klussman replied that she believed that the waterfront should be opened to pedestrians; however, if pedestrians were to be attracted to the area, it was obvious that special amenities such as small plazas should be provided instead of the Maritime Parkway which would serve only to accommodate the automobile. She acknowledged that some provision should be made for the automobile; however, she felt that the automobile should not be the dominant concern of the Commission.
After more than 50 years of fighting to protect the Northern Waterfront, all the way to the White House, the Embarcadero Freeway was fatally crippled by an earthquake in 1989. Demolition began 10 years later, but Friedel would never live to see that dream come true. Her work in advocating for and crafting a Waterfront Development Plan would lead to future successes.