Dufty wavers on park car ban 

The controversial debate about Saturday closure of roadways in Golden Pate Park is once again drawing political lines and highlighting whether the mayor has the power to make a veto stand.

Bevan Dufty, who voted last year against a controversial proposal to close some of Golden Gate Park’s roads on Saturdays, said he’s willing to reconsider the decision in light of a new study that shows the benefits of the car ban.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, who vetoed the plan — approved 7-4 by the Board of Supervisors — said Friday that "everything I said in the veto letter stands today."

Last week, Supervisor Jake McGoldrick introduced legislation that would enact a six-month trial to close a 1.5-mile stretch of John F. Kennedy Drive and some connecting roads.

Newsom vetoed similar legislation introduced by McGoldrick last year, and without a super-majority of eight votes of support for the proposal from the Board of Supervisors, the veto stood. Voters also rejected a ballot measure on the issue 2000.

Dufty acknowledged that he could be the swing vote this time around and said he was looking at possible changes to the legislation that would reduce the amount of road closure to make it easier for disabled people to access the park.

"I’m willing to look at this issue and see what’s the right thing to do," Dufty said.

Although a similar ban on cars has existed for nearly 40 years on Sundays, the plan to extend the program to Saturdays has provoked concerns that the road closures would result in adverse traffic impacts on nearby neighborhoods, diminish attendance at the museums and limit park access to those with disabilities.

A city-sponsored study released last month showed higher attendance at the park’s institutions and more skaters, bikers and walkers in the park on Sundays.

In his veto letter last year, Newsom said the question of whether to close the park roads on Saturdays was already decided by voters when they rejected a ballot measure in 2000. Park closure supporters say that was before park visitors had access to a new 800-space parking garage, under the de Young Museum, which is still accessible during the weekend road closures.


Tags: ,

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
Pin It

More by Staff Report

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation