Matt Brezina, cofounder of People Protected, speaks at a rally at JFK Dr. And 8th St. in Golden Gate Park on Saturday March 20, 2021, in support of calls to keep the road through the park car free. (Photo by Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the San Francisco Examiner)

Matt Brezina, cofounder of People Protected, speaks at a rally at JFK Dr. And 8th St. in Golden Gate Park on Saturday March 20, 2021, in support of calls to keep the road through the park car free. (Photo by Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the San Francisco Examiner)

Golden Gate Park rally calls for car-free JFK Drive

Bicyclists, pedestrians and rollerbladers of all ages gathered in Golden Gate Park Saturday to urge The City to make John F. Kennedy Drive permanently car-free.

The family friendly event, hosted by groups including People Protected, the Richmond Family Transportation Network, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Friends of the Urban Forest featured chalk art, a selfie booth and music, and drew a supportive crowd that included state Sen. Scott Wiener.

JFK Drive was closed to cars on Sundays prior to the pandemic, but the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department barred them completely starting April 28 in an effort to create additional outdoor space for recreation and essential travel during the shelter-in-place order.

The road has become a popular space, but the de Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences are opposed to a permanent closure, arguing that the road provides important vehicle access for the disabled and others.

The closure is currently scheduled to expire 120 days after the public health order ends.

Formal action is required from the City to make all or part of this program permanent, otherwise the closure to cars must expire 120 days after the current public health order ends.

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