Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

Host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park proposed

After more than a year of activism and editorializing, everyday San Franciscans finally have the opportunity to weigh in on the long-term fate of John F. Kennedy Drive and other car-free streets in Golden Gate Park.

On Wednesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department began a public outreach process asking for feedback on several possible interventions to improve access to the park, including three options related to private car access on JFK Drive.

The first option would retain the pandemic-era car free route across the length of the park, including the eastern portion of JFK, and the western halves of Middle Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Another option would reopen westbound traffic on JFK between Eighth Avenue and Transverse Drive. The “no project option” would have all the streets in the park revert to their pre-pandemic configurations.

According to city estimates, about 75 percent of car traffic on JFK was cut through, heading to destinations outside of the park. Since the full-time closure, that section has seen a 36 percent increase in visitors. However, the closure led to a decrease in parking, including Americans With Disabilities Act parking, and generated complaints about access to the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.

As part of the study, city officials are also considering how alternative mobility can enhance access to the park, which could include improving the Golden Gate Park shuttle, permitting pedicab service on car-free streets, and adding taxi stands at the Museum Concourse and allowing them to use the Eighth Avenue park entrance. There are also proposals to increase two-wheeled transportation options in the park, potentially allowing scooter sharing services and adding 10 docked bike share stations.

Finally, city officials are exploring ways to better utilize the Museum Concourse garage, which has entrances on both MLK Drive, near the Ninth Avenue park entrance in the Sunset, and on Fulton Street in the Richmond. That could mean improved signage, dynamic pricing that takes into account how full the garage is, and 15 minutes of free access to allow for pickups and dropoffs.

Park enthusiasts can learn about these proposals and more on the project’s “story map,” which describes the options in detail and then provides a survey. There will also be virtual events on Sept. 30 and Oct. 3, where SFMTA and Park and Rec staff will present and listen to feedback. Staff will set up informational tables at several upcoming community events throughout The City.

The agencies hope to finalize their analysis by sometime early next year, at which point they will present their recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read