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San Francisco Officers Search Suggestions on Way forward for Golden Gate Park’s Automobile-Free JFK Drive – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / BCN) – With San Francisco planning to upgrade the car-free route along John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, city officials said Wednesday they would ask city residents to contribute to these plans.

The city carlessed most of JFK Drive between Transverse and Kezar for the first time at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to make way for social distancing for people who walk, jog and bike.

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Since then, the car-free route has become hugely popular, with San Francisco Recreation and Park officials seeing a 36 percent increase in recreational use along the road compared to pre-pandemic numbers. In addition, the car-free initiative has also reduced accidents with serious injuries on the road to zero – compared to more than 50 such collisions in the last five years.

Because of its success and in an effort to better serve residents, officials from Rec and Park and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are now looking for ways to improve the route.

The agencies’ shared Golden Gate Park Access and Safety Program allows residents to provide feedback through an online open house, scheduled online office hours, virtual open house, pop-up information centers and tours of the park.

Specifically, the program is asking residents about options for JFK Drive and other parking streets, including permanently banning the current closures; Return to pre-pandemic configuration; or providing managed vehicle access to the restricted vehicle park on JKF between Eighth Avenue and Tansverse Drive for westbound traffic only.

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Proposed new services in the park to improve usability and accessibility include the establishment of parking spaces accessible under the American Disabilities Act; Establishment of taxi stands in the music hall; Creation of a drop-off zone in the station’s garage; Modernization of the existing parking shuttle service; Expansion of bike share and roller share services in the park; Allowing cycle rickshaw services; and modifying intersections to improve safety and traffic congestion.

“Public feedback is critical to determining the future of JFK Drive after the pandemic, and we look forward to your thoughts and experiences,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, in a statement. “The Golden Gate Park belongs to everyone, so neither security nor access can be neglected.”

“The Golden Gate Park car-free route was designed to provide a safe recreational space during COVID. It turned out to be a huge draw, bringing more people to the park, serving commuters between sunset and downtown, and creating safe space for kids to learn to drive, ”said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Traffic Director.

To find out about virtual information events, upcoming park tours and personal events, visit sfmta.com/accessggp or sfrecpark.accessggp. In addition, the virtual open house, which runs until November 25th, can be found on the storymaps website.

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