Study: Car free Golden Gate park attendance doubles
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
From the Office of Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
Study shows that the Car Free space on JFK Drive
in Golden Gate Park more than doubles park usage and increases
attendance to the museum and local merchants without a traffic
Last year, Mayor Newsom vetoed
legislation sponsored by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, that
would close JFK Drive on Saturdays to cars just like it is, and
has been, for 40 years on Sundays. The main reason for his veto
was concern about potential negative neighborhood impacts and
lower attendance to the institutions in the park.
Since the veto, a comprehensive study has been published that
shows that the impacts to the neighborhoods due to Sunday closure
were virtually the same on Saturdays vs. Sundays and the number
of visitors to the de Young Museum is higher on Sundays.
This study shows me that the Mayor should have no reason
to veto legislation that I plan to introduce at the next Board
of Supervisors meeting that will close JFK Drive from Kezar Drive
to Transverse Drive, on a six month trial basis, said Supervisor
The parking and traffic impacts are virtually the same
on Saturdays and Sundays. The visitors to the park more than doubles
on Sundays when the park is closed to traffic, and more people
visited the de Young Museum and local merchants on Sundays,"
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority managed the
study and the data was collected on two weekends in August. The
study can be viewed at www.goldengatepark.org.
Finally, the facts about car-free space in Golden Gate
Park speak for themselves. As someone who spends a lot of time
in the Park with my family on Sundays, it is obvious that this
is one of the most popular and successful programs in the City,
says David Miles, a Richmond District father and leader of the
CA Outdoor Roller Skating Association.
The study findings include:
- The number of people using the Prk increases by an average
of 116% on Sundays compared to Saturdays, and more than triple
(from 856 to 2,712) in the busiest areas.
- Pedestrian and bicycle usage also increases in the neighborhoods
bordering the Park on Sundays, compared to Saturdays, by 24%.
- Traffic volumes around the Park do not increase significantly.
No major intersection bordering the Park sees a significant delay
in travel time, and residential streets measured were virtually
identical on Saturday and Sunday.
- Car-free space encourages greater customer traffic to local
businesses near the Park, based on figures showing half the people
in the Park visit, or intend to visit, nearby businesses.
- Surveyed visitors state they were able to find parking relatively
quickly on both Saturday and Sunday, although visitors reported
finding parking on Sunday somewhat faster. On average, half
of drivers to the Park find a parking spot within five minutes.
- More Park users visit the de Young Museum on Sundays than on
Saturdays (37% vs. 23% respectively)
Supervisor McGoldrick will join "Healthy Saturday"
Supporters at a rally this Sunday, 2/18/07, in Golden Gate Park
to celebrate the study's positive findings.