Cutting through Golden Gate Park, JFK Drive is a key Connecting the City route. Annually, there are more than 13 million visitors to Golden Gate Park, and visitors and tourists alike deserve safe 8-to-80 bikeways.
For years, the SF Bicycle Coalition had been working with an alliance of park and pedestrian advocates to improve JFK Drive. In Spring 2012, San Francisco welcomed its first parking-protected bikeway on JFK Drive, offering a safer biking experience through Golden Gate Park. The SFMTA released a final report in May 2013, which showed decreased speeds of both vehicle and bicycle traffic. Furthermore, 84% of people surveyed felt safe while biking, a significant increase from 71% prior to the changes.
With over 13 million visitors each year, Golden Gate Park is San Francisco’s largest park as well as the third most visited urban park in the nation. The eastern section of the park, where the Music Concourse, the Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum are located, is particularly attractive to visitors and has a history of innovative projects. Since 1967, the eastern half of John F. Kennedy Drive has been the site of one of America’s oldest open street initiatives, Car-free Sundays, for which the thoroughfare officially closes from Stanyan Street to Transverse Drive. This weekly event sparked a tremendous increase in park use.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition thanks Mayor Edwin Lee, Recreation and Parks Director Phil Ginsburg, SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin and Supervisor Eric Mar for their work in bringing this safer bikeway to JFK Drive. We would also like to thank the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee for their input and for endorsing and supporting the JFK Drive Separated Bikeways.