Love Sundays, Hate Saturdays, In Golden Gate Park? Then Read This! By Niko Letunic

This is a park. Sunday afternoon in Golden Gate Park
This is not a park. A Saturday afternoon in Golden Gate Park. Photos by Greg Gaar
Can you picture JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park during the weekend? On Saturdays, it is your average car-choked thoroughfare: dangerous, polluted, noisy and stressful. On Sundays (and holidays), when it is closed to car traffic, it's a piece of heaven in San Francisco, full of smiling, carefree people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying the glorious outdoors.

Since it began in 1967, Sunday use of JFK Drive as a safe recreation area has become the most popular attraction in Golden Gate Park. It is especially important for children, who often lack other safe opportunities to play outdoors, and for lower income residents who are less able to afford out-of-town trips. Unfortunately, the Recreation and Parks Commission has refused to expand JFK closure for fear of lost parking.

Now, a group of community and neighborhood advocates, who believe impacts of Saturday closure would be minimal and easily mitigable, have joined forces to bring this issue to the voters in November. The new organization, "Advocates for a Safe Golden Gate Park"(ASGGP), has filed the necessary paperwork, and now needs to collect approximately 15,000 signatures by July 10th.

The group's confidence was recently bolstered when a professional poll on the issue found that 61% of likely November voters support the idea. Nevertheless, it will take energy and money to gather the necessary signatures and mobilize supportive voters in November. Right now, we need volunteers to help collect signatures, and donations to get the word out about the campaign. If you can help, please call us at 415-704-3195, email to info@safeggp.org or visit www.safeggp.org. Checks, made to ASGGP, may be sent to P.O. Box 192033 (Rincon Center), SF, CA 94119. And pick up signature petitions at the SFBC office at 1095 Market St., Ste. 215. If you like Golden Gate Park now, you'll love it after we win!