Controversial Car-Free-Saturday Golden Gate Park
at Board of Supervisors
Supervisor McGoldrick introduces legislation to
address disability access
By Aldrich M. Tan
May 10, 2006
The Board of Supervisors finally passed the Healthy Saturdays
ordinance, which would close a 1.5 mile stretch of John F. Kennedy
Drive in Golden Gate Park on Saturdays for a six month trial period,
at Tuesday's meeting with a 7 to 4 vote.
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick said discussions regarding to accessibility
for the disabled community strengthened the legislation.
"What we have done with this item is very commendable,"
McGoldrick said. "I'm very proud of the improved access to
the disabled community and I hope that we have included everything
that we need."
The ordinance finally passed with Supervisors Fiona Ma, Bevan
Dufty, Sean Elsbernd, and Michela Alioto-Pier voting against the
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick introduced trailing legislation to
not close the area from Fulton Street to Arguello Drive and 60
percent of Conservatory Drive West during the trial period. McGoldrick
said the trailing legislation improves access to the Conservatory
"My legislative aides and I have visited Golden Gate Park
multiple times last week to make sure it works," McGoldrick
said. "The closest drop-off point will be a ten-second walking
distance from the Conservatory."
Based on his experiences at Golden Gate Park, McGoldrick said
he is also interested in finding a way to re-pave John F. Kennedy
"The street is full of potholes and huge cracks," McGoldrick
said. "It's a disaster,"
Mayor Gavin Newsom still has not made a decision if he will veto
the legislation, communication director Peter Ragone said.
McGoldrick's resolution is a trial closure of John F. Kennedy
Jr. Drive between Kezar Drive and Transverse Rive and adjacent
roads connecting with that portion of John F. Kennedy Drive, McGoldrick
said. The Recreation & Parks Department will conduct a study
on the impact of the Saturday road closures that it will present
to the Board of Supervisors by Feb. 1, 2007.
The resolution passed with additional amendments addressing the
closure's impact on the city's disabled community, such as handicap
accessible parking spaces, a disability-specific drop-off zone
on Bowling Drive, and an accessible interpark shuttle trained
to go five miles per hour to transport disabled people. The Recreation
& Parks Department study would also include the impact of
the closure on the disabled community.
The legislation went back to first reading at last week's Board
of Supervisors meeting after Alioto-Pier amended the ordinance
to create a deaf-friendly information line for individuals to
call, to make the three major requirements addressing accessibility
for the disabled community mandatory, and to continue ongoing
application of those programs on Sundays when the Saturday trial