Golden Gate Park’s John F. Kennedy Drive is now permanently car-free after the Board of Supervisors approved Mayor London Breed’s proposal on Tuesday. The popular thoroughfare closed to cars at the beginning of the pandemic to promote social distancing, and quickly became a popular spot for locals.
The plan is to make 1.5 miles of JFK Drive permanently car-free, while simultaneously improving certain one-way segments, bicycle facilities, and accessibility.
Proposed improvements in the park include better accessibility for seniors and guests with reduced mobility, an expanded free shuttle program operating daily; better parking and ADA access, more programming and events to reflect the diversity of the city, an expanded Museums for All program to cover parking costs, removing restrictions for pick-up and drop-off at the Music Concourse, maintaining emergency vehicle access, adding at least six bike-share stations, and much more.
In order to formulate the plan, SFMTA and SF Rec & Park performed extensive public outreach and got input from tens of thousands of people. Many San Franciscans grew attached to the car-free state of JFK Drive and aren’t willing to part with it.
“San Francisco is a city with a rich history of celebrating our parks and open spaces, and making JFK car-free permanently is the next chapter in that story,” said Mayor London Breed. “This will continue to be a place for families, for children, for seniors, and for visitors to gather and have a safe and wonderful experience in Golden Gate Park. City staff has worked to address a number of issues around access and parking to make sure Golden Gate Park and our important cultural institutions are accessible for all, and we are committed to continuing that work to make the future of JFK and the surrounding areas a success.”
Featured image: @sfrecpark via Instagram