Golden Gate Park road closure proponents considering ballot
By Angela Hokanson, Bay City News Service
July 16, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Proponents of "Healthy Saturdays,"
an initiative which seeks to close sections of John F. Kennedy
Drive in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to vehicle traffic on
Saturdays, gathered in the park today to discuss how to best proceed
with their campaign.
Undeterred by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's veto of legislation
in May that would have closed portions of JFK Drive to vehicles
to allow the roads to be used for biking, walking, running, and
other recreational purposes, supporters of the road closures are
working on a compromise plan.
According to David Miles Jr., one of the organizers of the Healthy
Saturdays campaign, the proposed compromise would keep certain
roads in the park open to vehicles on Saturdays to allow for access
to the Conservatory of Flowers.
Access to the Conservatory of Flowers was one of the concerns
cited by the mayor before he vetoed the Saturday road closure
The new plan would keep JFK Drive between Kezar Drive and Bowling
Green Drive open to cars on Saturdays, according to Miles. Conservatory
Drive East and a portion of Middle Drive East would also be open
This would allow motorists to reach the Conservatory of Flowers
in a car, removing a main "bone of contention" that
was in the original road closure legislation, Miles said.
The new plan also calls for parking spaces to be available on
the Eighth Avenue entrance to the park, according to Miles.
How people with disabilities would access the park on Saturdays
if roads were closed to vehicles -- another concern cited by members
of the Board of Supervisors who did not support the legislation
-- would be addressed through the use of shuttles and special
handicapped parking, measures that are already being implemented
on Sundays, when JFK Drive is closed to vehicles, according to
The Healthy Saturdays supporters are testing the waters with
this revised plan, Miles said. The group will decide shortly whether
they will try again to pass legislation through the Board of Supervisors,
or whether they will take the issue directly to the voters through
a ballot measure.
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