SAN FRANCISCO – Bicycle and pedestrian advocates joined city officials today to celebrate the last of 13 raised crosswalks installed recently in Golden Gate Park, capping three years of traffic calming measures in the park as part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative.
District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown helped stripe the new raised crosswalk on John F. Kennedy Drive just east of 8th Avenue, along with San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg, San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency Interim Director of Transportation Tom Maguire, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier and WalkSF Communications Director Marta Lindsey.
The Golden Gate Park Traffic Safety Improvement Project, launched in 2016 following an executive directive from then-mayor Ed Lee, also includes floating red curbs to deter illegal parking in the bikeway along John F. Kennedy Drive, striping treatments to slow turns, speed humps and cushions, hit posts, and median extensions.
“With these new traffic calming measures we have taken another important step forward in ensuring folks are safe when walking and biking in Golden Gate Park,” said Brown. “It’s critical that we build upon this progress and continue to look for additional safety improvements that be installed quickly”
John F. Kennedy Drive is on the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network, representing the 13 percent of city streets that account for 75 percent of severe and fatal traffic collisions. Since improvements began, the number of vehicles traveling over 30 mph has fallen 42 percent park-wide, according to SFMTA data.
“Speeding is a threat to everyone using the park, whether for recreation or to reach their destination” said Maguire. “By prioritizing safety improvements in the area, we are creating a safer and more inviting space for the city’s largest outdoor landmark.”
City officials plan to continue to implement longer-term solutions to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe in the park, which sees 26 million visits per year.
“Our work is not done,” said Ginsburg. “We recognize that parks are for people first, and we must prioritize the safety of everyone who comes here to enjoy our gardens, playgrounds, lakes and trails.”
Pedestrian and bicycle advocates also celebrated the improvements, while pledging to continue pressing for safer streets.
“We’re grateful that the improvements made by this project will better the lives of people biking in Golden Gate Park by reducing vehicle speed. To ensure we are proactive and not reactive going forward we must challenge ourselves to do more. And that looks like considering expanding car-free spaces in Golden Gate Park,” said Wiedenmeier.
“We’re so glad to see the new, much-needed street safety improvements just added to Golden Gate Park,” Lindsey said. “These safety fixes will help slow vehicles and better protect everyone who is here to enjoy this incredible park.”