San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency:
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA–An extensive public outreach process launched today asks the public to consider a broad range of proposed updates to the car-free route on Golden Gate Park’s John F. Kennedy Drive—from modifying street closures to improving access to mobility services like the park shuttle, bikeshare, scooters, taxis and pedicabs.
The Golden Gate Park Access and Safety Program, a joint effort of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), is tasked with finding solutions that balance the need for safe, car-free spaces with the need for access to Golden Gate Park for all visitors, including seniors and the disability community.
Through scheduled online office hours, in-park tours, and the program’s Online Open House and survey, anyone can weigh in on the configuration of closed streets in Golden Gate Park, as well as which new or improved mobility options should be implemented to expand access to the park for everyone. Outreach also includes virtual open houses on Sept. 30 and Oct. 3 as well as pop up information centers at neighborhood farmer’s markets and in Golden Gate Park every Sunday in October.
Following public input and technical analysis of each proposal, the Golden Gate Park Access and Safety Program will submit its recommendations to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in late Winter.
The outreach process asks visitors to weigh potential futures for JFK Drive and other park streets—making the current closure permanent, reverting to the pre-pandemic configuration, or providing for managed access to the park with a limited access on JFK from 8th to Transverse, westbound only.
Separate from the proposed street configurations, the following services will also be proposed:
- Adding ADA-accessible parking spaces and accessible paths of travel
- Establishing taxi stands at the Music Concourse
- Establishing a free-to-use 15-minute drop-off zone within the Concourse garage
- Improving wayfinding within the park
- Upgrading existing in-park shuttle service
- Establishing dynamic parking rates in the Concourse garage
- Expanding bikeshare and scootershare services into Golden Gate Park
- Extending current adaptive bikeshare pilot program in the park
- Permitting pedicab service in Golden Gate Park
- Modifying intersections in and around the park to mitigate congestion and improve traffic safety
“Public feedback is critical to determining the post-pandemic future of JFK Drive and we are eager to hear your thoughts and experiences,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Golden Gate Park belongs to everyone, so neither safety nor access can be an afterthought.”
“Golden Gate Park’s car-free route was designed to create safe recreational space during COVID. It turned out to be a major attractor, bringing more people to the park, serving commuters between the Sunset and downtown, and creating safe space for kids to learn to ride. It eliminated severe injuries on a segment of our High Injury Network,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin. “We’re glad to support Rec and Park in their efforts, including ongoing changes that will prioritize access for disabled people, and ensure access for passenger and freight loading, and institutional visitors and employees.”
Today’s public outreach launch comes 17 months after Rec and Park, in partnership with SFMTA, closed JFK Drive on the east side of the park to drivers, following up with additional segments on the west side including Middle Drive and MLK. Closing these streets in 2020 was a step in decades of reducing the number of streets for cars in the park and furthered a long conversation about opening JFK Drive to people walking, biking, scooting, rolling, dancing, and skating. In early 2021, San Francisco County Transportation Authority convened a working group of key stakeholders to improve access, mobility, and equity for all park visitors. Any long-term solution for the car-free route must meet a set of goals built from the SFCTA working group, reflecting City-adopted policies and voter-mandated initiatives over the past 30 years.
Since the closure:
- Nearly 7 million people walked, biked and rolled on car-free JFK Drive, a 36 percent increase over pre-pandemic usage;
- Cut-through vehicle traffic was eliminated; previously 75 percent of the cars in JFK were not visiting park destinations;
- No serious injury collisions occurred on the car-free route (there were more than 50 such collisions over the 5 years prior); and,
- Transit service on the 44 O’Shaughnessy Muni line, which travels through the Music Concourse and serves the Bayview and Excelsior neighborhoods, was made faster and more efficient.
In addition to these successes, however, there have been access challenges for popular destinations and for park visitors in the disability community. The purpose of the Golden Gate Park Access and Safety Program is to bring a broad array of project proposals that can make JFK Drive work for everyone.
Feedback at a Glance
Visit sfmta.com/accessggp or sfrecpark/accessggp for virtual information sessions, upcoming park tours, and in-person community events.
Online Open House
Learn about the project on your own time and give us feedback in the survey. The Open House closes Nov. 25.
firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback, or to schedule a park tour for your group.