Golden Gate Park Access & Safety Program: March 2022 Update
March was a big month for the Golden Gate Access & Safety Program!
On March 10, the project team presented formal recommendations for the future of Golden Gate Park. These project proposals were shaped by months of community outreach that resulted in direct engagement with over 10,000 San Franciscans and over 50 organizations across the city. Aimed at enhancing the Park experience for all users, the specific proposals range from keeping JFK Drive car-free, to enhancing the Park shuttle (which is already in the works!) to bringing new mobility choices, like bikeshare, into the park. The SFMTA Board of Directors and the Rec and Park Commission met in person for the first time in two years to hear the proposals.
After an 8-hour meeting, each board and commission voted to recommend the proposals for approval to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The support from both groups is meaningful: they voiced confidence in the program proposals to make Golden Gate Park more accessible, equitable, and enjoyable for all, and recognized the over 70% of San Franciscans who expressed support for a car-free JFK and improvements to the Park during our outreach process.
During the meeting with the SFMTA Board and Rec & Park commission, our project team shared key points from the past 22 months of implementing the Golden Gate Park Access & Safety Program. To recap:
- Visit data to JFK shows that more people are walking and biking on JFK than ever before, with 5% more pedestrians and 20% more cyclists on the street.
- Visit rates to the park by supervisorial district are largely the same today as they were pre-pandemic levels, indicating that roadway changes have not made a significant impact in the ability of people to come to the park from across the city.
- The majority of people who responded to our survey from each race or ethnic group support a car-free JFK Drive.
- As early as this spring, there will 92 blue zone spaces available in the eastern part of Golden Gate Park, in closer proximity to key institutions and a net increase from the pre-pandemic total.
- There have been no significant impacts to travel times across the city as a result of removing JFK Drive from the vehicle network.
- With JFK Drive closed to vehicles, 83% of parking in Golden Gate Park remains available and free.
- Muni remains an excellent choice for accessing the Park: The majority of San Franciscans live within a 15-minute walk to a transit stop connecting to Golden Gate Park.
In terms of next steps for the future of Golden Gate Park, there are several key events to look forward to:
- The San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board will meet to discuss the findings of their Equity Study related to Golden Gate Park. This meeting, originally scheduled for April 12, will be heard at a later date. Public participation is welcome, and further details will be provided soon.
- The Golden Gate Park Access & Safety Program has been referred to the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee and will be discussed at a future meeting—date to be determined.
- The Board of Supervisors are expected to vote on the proposals this spring; we will send an update when the date of the vote is confirmed.
Thank you for your ongoing support and interest in the future of Golden Gate Park. We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.