Compromise reached for Golden Gate Park Saturday auto ban

From the Mayor’s Office of Communications

Tonight at 6:50PM, supporters and opponents of road closures in Golden Gate Park, reached an historic compromise to close portions of park roadway for the summer months each year. The compromise, brokered by Mayor Gavin Newsom, ends years of acrimonious debate between park users, neighbors, and leaders of cultural attractions at the park.

“Today was a victory for our shared values. Golden Gate Park is our city’s treasure, and this proposal allows everyone to enjoy it with minimal disruption,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom.

“We’re proud of today’s compromise, which proves the dedication on all sides to increasing and improving park usage, including both recreational activities and cultural attractions,” said Rick Galbreath of the Sierra Club, Spokesperson, Healthy Saturdays Coalition.

“After marathon negotiations, this compromise achieves recreational objectives and reduces the adverse impact on the park’s cultural attractions and neighbors,” said Tomasita Medál, Spokesperson, Park Access For All Coalition.

Mayor Newsom praised Chief of Staff Phil Ginsburg for facilitating this compromise.

“Each day I start my morning by taking a run in the park,” said Ginsburg. “This is a labor of love.”


On April 12 and 13, 2007, parties met to discuss alternatives to the current Saturday closure proposal for John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park (file number 070269). Supporters and opponents of the current closure proposal spent several hours working to identify a mutually amenable compromise on this issue.

Both parties agree to amend the current Saturday closure proposal pending at the Board of Supervisors in the following ways:

• JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park will be closed to vehicular traffic west of Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive to Transverse Drive on Saturdays from the first Saturday of April through the last Saturday of September each year. This Saturday road closure shall be operative from 6AM to 6PM, and inclement weather protocols that apply to the current Sunday closure shall also apply to this Saturday closure.

• Vehicle deliveries to the DeYoung Museum loading dock will be permitted during Saturday and Sunday vehicle closure of JFK Drive. Delivery vehicles will access the Museum’s loading dock via JFK Drive with unimpeded access through the road closure.
Appropriate protocol will be developed by the DeYoung Museum that allows for unencumbered delivery access to the loading dock, while maintaining safety of individuals within the road closure. Such protocol and delivery activities will be evaluated on a regular basis by the Museum to ensure that adequate delivery access is maintained and if necessary, the Mayor’s Office shall institute methods that ensure adequate delivery access.

• Middle Drive West from Metson Road to Transverse Drive, which is already closed to vehicular traffic on Saturdays, will undergo capital improvements as quickly as possible. These improvements are intended to enhance recreational uses in this area for bikers, walkers, skaters and other park visitors. The Recreation and Park Department shall develop and implement capital improvement and programmatic plans for this area in partnership with private philanthropic interests contributing to these capital efforts, based on community input from park users and neighbors.

• This road closure proposal will not be implemented until the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Disability, in consultation with the DeYoung’s Access Division, has confirmed that adequate physical accessibility is provided throughout the Saturday closure area, consistent with the American with Disabilities Act. The Mayor’s Office will commit to implementing required access requirements that will allow this Saturday closure to begin on May 26, 2007.

• Recreation and Park Department shall develop appropriate signage for this Saturday closure to minimize any traffic disruption.

• Signatories to this agreement, as individuals and on behalf of their organizations, agree not to pursue or support additional closure proposals in Golden Gate Park nor proposals to decrease road closure in Golden Gate Park during Saturday or Sunday for five (5) years from the date of this agreement. No sunset provision shall be included in the legislation codifying this agreement.
This document summarizes the agreement reached between the parties for an alternative Saturday closure. This agreement will be codified into legislation by the City Attorney’s Office by Monday, April 16, 2007.

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