Vote to overturn veto of Golden Gate Park
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who worked tirelessly to ban cars
from Golden Gate Park
on weekends, failed to overturn a Mayoral veto at yesterday's
Board of Supervisors meeting.
By Aldrich M. Tan
May 24, 2006
The Board of Supervisors did not override Mayor Gavin Newsom's
veto of the Healthy Saturdays ordinance at Tuesday's meeting.
The ordinance would have closed a 1.5 mile stretch of John F.
Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park on Saturdays for a six month
Eight votes are required to override the mayor's veto. The vote
remained 7 to 4, with Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier, Bevan Dufty,
Sean Elsbernd and Fiona Ma voting against the veto.
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick said he would continue pursuing the
Saturday closure legislation.
"I will continue to work with all the stakeholders,"
McGoldrick said. "This is not the last chapter of the book."
McGoldrick then introduced legislation to improve disability
access to the Sunday car-free program, and announced that he would
further improve access to the park by repaving John F. Kennedy
Supervisor Chris Daly, who voted in support of the legislation,
said the legislation should go to the ballot to let the public
"It may have a victory on the November ballot," Daly
Supervisor Chris Daly
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval said Newsom and other Supervisors
are siding with wealthy museum benefactors.
"Healthy Saturdays is good legislation and it does not deserve
to die here today," Sandoval said.
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval
Elsbernd fired back at Sandoval saying he is not siding with
wealthy museum benefactors.
"Nobody has mentioned the needs of people who live by the
park," Elsbernd said. "These are the people who I am
siding with and whose issues need to be acknowledged by the legislation."
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd
Michele Stratton, co-chair of North Park Neighborhood Association,
applauded Elsbernd for standing up for the neighbors.
"We agree that there is a need for Saturday recreation,"
Stratton said, "but not by closing the same road on both
days of the weekend."
Stratton said McGoldrick should consider closing down alternative
roads in the park like Middle Drive West.
Rebecca Green, board member of San Francisco Parks Trust, said
the legislation is poor public policy in its current form.
"We need to address the issues that the surrounding neighborhoods
around the park have," Green said. "I think people do
want to support this legislation but the research needs to be
McGoldrick should examine the idea of street closures of the
western end of the park and even other parks such as McLaren Park,
Despite failing to overturn the Mayor's veto, McGoldrick introduced
disability access legislation that will apply to the current Sunday
The legislation includes additional accessible parking places
in and around Golden Gate Park, accessible drop-off zones, an
accessible intra-park transit shuttle to operate frequently along
the area, and additional signage.
The Recreation and Parks Department and the Department of Parking
and Traffic would conduct a study on the impact of the Sunday
road closures on the use of Golden Gate Park and report back to
the Board of Supervisors, McGoldrick said.
"I am pleased that we can strengthen the Sunday car-free
program in the park after all these years by complying with the
Americans with Disabilities Act," McGoldrick said.
Following the board meeting, McGoldrick told the Sentinel that
Mayor Newsom has allocated $500,000 to repave John F. Kennedy
Drive in Golden Gate Park.
McGoldrick said he and his legislative aides visited Golden Gate
Park multiple times two weeks ago to test the feasibility of disability
access amendments regarding the Healthy Saturday ordinance. They
discovered that John F. Kennedy Drive was in serious need of repairs.
"The street is full of potholes and huge cracks," McGoldrick
said. "It's a disaster."
McGoldrick said he will use the funding to repave John F. Kennedy
Drive from Kezar Drive out to Transverse Drive.
"It's going to be smooth as a baby's behind," McGoldrick
The Mayor's budget will be released on May 31.