A controversial plan to give San Francisco’s bike riders, roller bladers, joggers and pedestrians car-free access to some of Golden Gate Park’s roadways on Saturdays — as well as Sundays — was given final approval by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The vote on the ordinance, which closes a 1.5-mile stretch of John F. Kennedy Drive and some connecting roads on Saturdays for a six-month trial period, was a repeat of the preliminary 7-4 vote in favor two weeks ago.
Although a similar ban on cars has existed for nearly 40 years on Sundays, the plan to extendthe road closures to Saturdays has raised concern from park museums that predict a drop in their attendance; nearby neighborhood residents who say cars will now take over already limited parking; and disability advocates.
Last Tuesday, Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who uses a wheelchair, expressed concern that not enough was being done to ensure that those who are disabled would still be able to use the park. Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who had introduced the trial ordinance, added amendments that provide, among other disability accommodations, a shuttle bus, parking spaces and drop-off zones inside the park for people with disabilities. He vowed to keep working on ways to improve accessibility.
The measure now goes before Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has expressed concern in the past about the potential negative impacts of the road closure plan.
His spokesman, Peter Ragone, said Newsom has not yet made a "final decision" on whether he’ll veto the legislation.