John F. Kennedy Drive Separated Bikeways

Project Overview

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency implemented San Francisco’s first parking-protected bikeway in Spring of 2012 along the eastern end of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park. The bikeway, or cycle track, offers a wide, comfortable place for cyclists to ride that is protected from moving vehicles, while freeing the adjacent paths for people walking or jogging.

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Project Details

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency implemented San Francisco’s first parking-protected bikeway in Spring of 2012 along the eastern end of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park. The bikeway, or cycle track, offers a wide, comfortable place for cyclists to ride that is protected from moving vehicles, while freeing the adjacent paths for people walking or jogging.

 

The goal of the John F. Kennedy Drive (JFK) cycle track is to make JFK Drive accessible and safe for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists of all abilities. In public meetings and through our online surveys, San Franciscans expressed their interest in slowing down traffic, increasing safety, and maintaining the family-friendly nature of Golden Gate Park. Here is how the new design addresses the project goals:

  • Safer Speeds: Before the cycle track was implemented, JFK Drive served as a fast-moving thoroughfare, with an average speed of over 30 mph. The new reduced width of JFK Drive is expected to significantly reduce automobile speeds. Also, by adding protection from moving cars, new and cautious cyclists can ride at a speed that is more comfortable for them, while fast and fearless cyclists are encouraged to slow down and enjoy the park.
  • Increased Cycling: Designs like the JFK bikeway have been successful in other cities at encouraging more people to try cycling by giving them a separate and distinct space, away from the rush of moving vehicles. It is important to note that this facility is not designed for cyclists who are already comfortable riding with car traffic throughout San Francisco; it is designed for the new or cautious cyclist who does not mind going a little more slowly in exchange for the protection that a cycle track offers.
  • Family-Friendly Park: JFK Drive was chosen over other streets in the city for a number of different reasons. One of these is that the park is a place for recreation and family enjoyment; the purpose of JFK Drive should not be to get people to their destinations as quickly as possible, but to provide a community environment where different types of road users are patient and respectful of others. Though there has been some initial confusion, we fully expect that as people get used to the new layout we will see a more relaxed pace in Golden Gate Park and increased courtesy among all users.

How to use the Bikeway

Bike
  • Enter and leave the bikeway at intersections and stay clear of the buffer zone.
  • Be alert for people crossing the bikeway to/from parked vehicles and loading/unloading in the buffer zone.
  • Obey all signs and markings and yield to pedestrians using crosswalks.
  • To make left turns, either:
    • Ride through to the far side of the intersection,  stop, turn to the left, and wait in the buffer zone next to the bike lane to cross when it is safe; or
    • Merge before the intersection and turn from the left-most travel lane that is shared with vehicles.
  • At intersections and driveways, be alert for turning vehicles.
Drive
  • Always be alert for cyclists and pedestrians at intersections and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • To turn right, yield to cyclists approaching the intersection and then merge into right-turn lanes that are shared with cyclists continuing straight.
Park and Walk
  • Park away from the curb, along the buffer zone.
  • Use the buffer zone to exit and access your car.
  • Look for cyclists before crossing bikeway.
  • Pedestrians requiring a curb ramp should travel along the buffer zone between their vehicle and the nearest ramp.

Documents

AttachmentSize
PDF JFK Bikeway Final Report (PDF)672.54 KB