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Posted on: August 17, 2022

New Traffic Patterns for Middle and MLK Drives in Golden Gate Park

MLK

October 6 Update for Middle Drive 

We're further improving road safety in Golden Gate Park! Starting on Thursday, October 6, crews will be out installing a separated lane to protect people traveling by bike and foot along Middle Drive while allowing drivers to safely access the Polo Fields parking lot. Work is expected to wrap up by the end of the month. 

This improvement is part of a range of commitments made by Rec and Park and SFMTA through the Golden Gate Park Access & Safety Program to make the park safer and more welcoming. Other improvements include better signage, fun activations, and improved access to the JFK Promenade. 

To safely move cars through this stretch of road while maintaining a continuous, separated route for people on bikes and foot, we’re adding in buffers to create designated spaces for different users. Additionally, new pavement markings and signs will direct everyone where to go.

Crews will work in the mostly in the mornings. Between the Polo Fields lot and MLK, Middle Drive will be closed to vehicles until the work wraps up—if you’re driving, please use Metson Road to access the lot! People on foot or on bike will still be able to pass through.

Middle Drive MapMiddle Drive West

August 17 Update for MLK Drive

On Monday, Rec and Park and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) opened a new traffic flow pattern for the stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Drive in Golden Gate Park between Chain of Lakes Drive and Sunset Boulevard. The intent of this new roadway configuration is to lessen southbound congestion on Chain of Lakes Drive by giving vehicles an additional option to exit the park via an eastbound, one-way lane on MLK Drive and Sunset Boulevard. Concrete barriers were installed on MLK Drive between Chain of Lakes Drive and Middle Drive to create a separated space for people traveling by foot or bike, consistent with the car-free promenade approved in April by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

To safely move cars through this stretch of road while maintaining a continuous, separated route for people on bikes and foot, we’re adding in buffers to create designated spaces for different users. Additionally, new pavement markings and signs will direct everyone where to go. 

Crews will work in the mostly in the mornings. Between the Polo Fields lot and MLK, Middle Drive will be closed to vehicles until the work wraps upif you’re driving, please use Metson Road to access the lot! People on foot or on bike will still be able to pass through   

MLK Drive (1)



Over the last few days, we have heard feedback that the new design is creating confusion in the area. Rec and Park and SFMTA are committed to addressing these concerns, and are implementing several strategies to improve and clarify traffic flows through this section of the park:

Re-implementing barricades on Middle Drive at the Polo Field: The barricades previously in place at the Polo Field to prevent cars from driving westbound on the car-free section of Middle Drive that feeds into MLK Drive were removed for Outside Lands and not replaced prior to Monday. Rec and Park and SFMTA staff re-installed these barricades on August 16 and added signage to the road to deter vehicles from entering this space. 

Bolstering signage and barricades at MLK Drive and Sunset Boulevard: We have observed that inadequate signage and barriers at Sunset Boulevard has led to vehicles to mistakenly driving in the bike lane. We are adding clarifying signage along with adding new posts to the bikeway buffer space to deter vehicles from driving westbound along MLK. This work is expected to be completed by Friday, August 19. 

Bolstering signage and pavement markings on MLK Drive between Chain of Lakes and Middle Drive: With the opening of the eastbound one-way travel lane, we want to guide pedestrians to the car-free area north of the line of barriers. We will be more clearly marking the promenade section with bike/ped roadway symbols. Additional signs and posts will be installed at MLK and Middle Drive to help drivers navigate the new configuration. This work is expected to be completed by the end of August. 

In addition and longer-term, Middle Drive will be re-designed with a fully separated, 19-foot promenade alongside a westbound one-way driving lane. This will provide a clearer connection for promenade users, while enabling vehicles to navigate this section of the park.

We recognize that this roadway configuration represents a change to the way traffic has flowed through this area over the past two years, and we know from experience that all traffic pattern changes require monitoring and adjustment after implementation to be successful. We are committed to implementing the changes described above as quickly as possible, and to additional changes as needed to ensure a safe and protected promenade. 

We appreciate the people who reached out with concerns about the current implementation of the design, and welcome your ongoing feedback as we work toward the final design for this space.

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