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Board of Supervisors vote to make JFK Drive permanently car-free

 Cyclist enjoy a leisurely ride on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Flickr / Creative Commons
Cyclist enjoy a leisurely ride on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park

The Board of Supervisors approved the legislation to make the change to the road permanent by a 7-4 vote.

The ordinance, which was proposed by Mayor London Breed, will ban cars in perpetuity from a one-and-a-half mile section of JFK Drive. The stretch of road is the eastern side of the park from Kezar Drive to Transverse Drive, connecting the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.

The board approved two amendments requiring city officials to provide quarterly progress reports on improving parking, as well as access for the disabled.

The road had long been closed to cars on Sundays since 1967, but was closed 24 hours-per-day to provide safe space for exercising with social distancing during the pandemic. The section has become even more popular for pedestrians, cyclists and scooter enthusiasts, doubling the park’s estimated daily attendance from 150-thousand to more than 300-thousand.

But ordinance also has its detractors. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that representatives from the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor said the road closure had hurt attendance.