Statement on John F. Kennedy Drive

de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park


The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is committed to being a welcoming place that is accessible for everyone. The article published recently in the San Francisco Examiner misrepresented our stance on the proposed road closures in Golden Gate Park. No formal proposal or request of any type has been presented to FAMSF and we have no plans to “block” said proposal when it is put forth.

We absolutely agree that there are too many incidents impacting bikers, pedestrians, and automobiles in Golden Gate Park. Simply put, the current design of traffic flow no longer supports the steady population growth that San Francisco has seen over the past ten years. Our aim is to partner with key stakeholders to identify a holistic solution that addresses these and other safety concerns in the Park. We continue to ask for a forum or process where all parties can come together to have an informed conversation. Some broader needs that should be addressed are:

• An overall reduction in commuter/through traffic within Golden Gate Park.

• More effective traffic calming methods.  

• Dedicated protected lanes for bicycles to transverse the Park that do not intersect with those for automobiles.

• Automobile access for those with disabilities, families with small children, and guests from the broader Bay Area.

• More lighting and presence of Park Rangers for pedestrian safety after dark.

• Increased Muni routes to Golden Gate Park, especially during weekends and holidays.

• Dedicated access to loading docks which are imperative for moving art and overall operations of the de Young.

The negative tone of the article has set a counterproductive forum for resolution. We are concerned about simply adding additional short-term, stop-gap solutions that do not properly address the broader underlying issues. We propose a dialogue with all stakeholders including but not limited to: the California Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, the San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco Recreation and Park, and residents of the Richmond and Sunset Districts.

The safety of visitors to Golden Gate Park and related traffic flows should be reconsidered as they are not meeting the needs of all key constituencies. It is evident that a well thought out solution is needed. We would like to lead that conversation.

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, oversee the de Young, located in Golden Gate Park, and the Legion of Honor, in Lincoln Park. It is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco, and one of the most visited arts institutions in the United States.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in October 2005. It holds the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.

The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and, like that structure, was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur, in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Its holdings span 4,000 years and include European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

Media Contacts
Miriam Newcomer, Director of Public Relations | | 415.750.3554