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John F. Kennedy Drive Separated Bikeways

Project Introduction

The SFMTA 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 offers a wide, comfortable place for people to bicycle that is protected from moving vehicles, freeing the adjacent paths for people walking or jogging.

Project Status
New parking-protected and buffered bike lanes
Improved crosswalks and slower traffic speeds
SFMTA Accessibility icon
New blue zones

The goal of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Drive bikeway is to make the park road accessible and safe for all users, including people bicycling of all ages and 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 bikeway 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 reduced vehicle speeds to the speed limit and below. Also, by adding protection from moving cars, new and cautious bike riders can ride at a speed that is more comfortable for them, while more confident riders are encouraged to slow down and enjoy the park.
  • Increased Bicycling: Designs like those used for the JFK bikeway have been successful in other cities at encouraging more people to try bicycling by giving them a separate space, away from the rush of moving vehicles. It is important to note that this facility is designed for the new or cautious bike rider who does not mind going a little more slowly in exchange for the protection that a protected bikeway 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.

How to use the Bikeway

  • 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.
  • Always be alert for people biking and walking at intersections and yield to people in crosswalks.
  • To turn right, yield to people biking approaching the intersection and then merge into the right turn lane that is shared with bike riders continuing straight.
  • Park away from the curb, along the buffer zone.
  • Use the buffer zone to exit and access your car.
  • Look for people biking before crossing the bikeway.
  • Those requiring a curb ramp should travel along the buffer zone between their vehicle and the nearest ramp.
Contact Information
Miriam Sorell