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Posted on: September 3, 2021

John Shelley Drive Partial Reopening

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John Shelley Drive west loop, which has been closed to vehicular traffic since April 2020 as part of the City’s emergency ordinance to provide socially distant recreation, will partially reopen beginning Saturday, Sept. 4. This will allow vehicles to travel on John Shelley Drive, from the intersection with Cambridge St. to the Upper Reservoir parking lot near the big blue water tower. This change ensures all park visitors can access the recently renovated Redwood Grove Playground and Group Picnic Area and the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, which will re-open in mid-September following a renovation.

Please note this is a trial change in accordance with the emergency order and will revert back to pre-pandemic auto access the full length of John Shelley Drive if no legislative action is taken by the Board of Supervisors. 

In light of the pedestrian usage of John Shelley Drive, and a grassroots movement to keep a portion of it permanently closed to vehicles, Rec and Park is focused on examining how the road should be used after the emergency order expires, including possibly converting a portion of the road to a car-free roadway.

A survey was conducted to solicit feedback on partial reopening options that best served the needs of the community; 260 responses were made regarding three proposals:

  • Option A– Allowed access from Cambridge St on John Shelley Drive to the pedestrian crosswalk in front of the Redwood Grove Playground and Group Picnic Area – Received 33% of the vote
  • Option B– Allowed access from Cambridge St on John Shelley Drive to the restroom in front of the Redwood Grove Playground at Group Picnic Area – Received 11 % of the vote
  • Option C– Allowed access from Cambridge St on John Shelley Drive to and terminating at the Upper Reservoir Parking lot – Received 56% of the vote

In spring 2022, RPD will conduct more extensive outreach to get input on a permanent configuration for John Shelley Drive that will include access at the dog play area as well as examining access along the roadway at Group Picnic and the Upper Reservoir.

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