Car-free JFK Drive: Where do San Francisco supervisors stand on the issue? – San Francisco Chronicle

April 7, 2022 by No Comments

San Francisco supervisors are poised to decide in the coming weeks whether a long stretch of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park should remain permanently free of cars.

The Board of Supervisors has two competing legislative proposals that address the issue. One, introduced last month by Mayor London Breed, would keep 1.5 miles of the road open only to pedestrians and bicyclists. The other, introduced this week by Supervisor Connie Chan, would allow cars to travel one way on part of the road that the mayor wants to remain a promenade.

Neither proposal has secured an obvious majority among the 11 supervisors, but the mayor’s plan so far appears closer to getting the six votes it would need to pass.

Breed’s legislation is already co-sponsored by three supervisors: Dean Preston, Rafael Mandelman and Matt Haney.

A fourth supervisor, Myrna Melgar, told The Chronicle on Wednesday that she wants to preserve JFK Drive as a haven for walkers, runners and bicyclists.

“I like the car-free JFK. In fact, I love it. I bike through it,” she said.

Melgar, who represents neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks and other parts of west San Francisco, said she would support Chan’s idea to let cars use the entire road behind the Conservatory of Flowers. But Melgar doesn’t agree with the part of Chan’s legislation that would also open up one-way vehicle traffic on JFK Drive between 8th Avenue and Transverse Drive.

“I do really appreciate Supervisor Chan’s efforts to address the issues of the folks who are mobility impaired, the seniors, the folks who attend the Dahlia Garden,” Melgar said. “What I don’t like about Supervisor Chan’s legislation is that it puts some traffic back onto JFK.”

Melgar is chair of the supervisors’ land use and transportation committee, which she said is tentatively scheduled to consider Breed’s JFK Drive legislation on April 25. Chan’s legislation had not been assigned to a committee yet as of Wednesday.

Another west side supervisor, Gordon Mar, told The Chronicle on Wednesday that he had not yet reviewed Chan’s legislation.

“I’m supportive of car-free JFK so long as the access and equity concerns can be addressed, which is what I’m currently focused on in discussions with stakeholders and the departments,” Mar said in a statement.

Four other supervisors — Aaron Peskin, Hillary Ronen, Ahsha Safaí and Catherine Stefani — were either not ready to take a position yet or said they hoped Chan and Breed could come to an agreement.

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, meanwhile, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the past, he has spoken critically of the road’s closure to cars, calling it “recreational redlining” that inhibits park access for communities of color, disabled people and those who live far from the park and lack adequate transportation options. Walton, who represents Bayview-Hunters Point and other areas on the southeast side of the city, once told The Chronicle that “closing JFK Drive to people who only walk and ride bikes is segregationist.”

Data provided by the city’s Recreation and Park Department last year indicated …….



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