Carless JFK Drive in GG Park Now Permanent
The SF Supervisors voted 7-4 to keep JFK Drive permanently ‘carless’ after 12 hours of public comments, and months of debate.
In the end, the Supervisors voted like this: Walton no, Chan no, Haney yes, Mandleman yes, Mar yes (co-sponsor added), Melgar yes, Peskin no, Preston yes, Ronen yes, Safai no, 7 ayes 4 nos.
The 1.5-mile span of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park that runs from the end of the Panhandle all the way past the De Younge Museum, was closed to cars 7 days a week during the pandemic, and it was a popular move. Cars have been banned from JFK Drive on Sundays, since 1967, so this is not ‘revolutionary thinking’.
When San Franciscans were surveyed last year (some 10,000 of them) about 70% of respondents were in favor of a permanent care-free JFK, so Mayor Breed had the new ordinance drawn up. Critics of kicking out cars included the de Young Museum and some of its employees, they claimed that restricting car access lowered Museum attendance, and some employees complained of the dangers of having to walk through the park after dark, because they could no longer park close to the Museum.
Anyone who has ridden or walked down JFK Drive on a Sunday knows how delightful a traffic-free GG is. You mosey past the Flower Conservatory to peruse the new flower beds, and you drink in all the smiling San Franciscans strewn about the rolling lawns.
Then you stroll down a hundred yards to 6th Avenue where the Roller Disco is in full pageantry, typically lines of wonderfully weird citizens, of all ages, gliding to the beat.
You continue a few more yards down the driverless Drive and hear soft horns and standup bass music bouncing off the trees, as the Lindy hoppers swing, skip, and embrace in the Shadow of the de Young. (every Sunday 11am-2pm).
They were all in favor of keeping the cars away…
Want a car-free route all the way through GG Park? Here you go: