Statement on the Closure of John F Kennedy Drive East
de Young Museum, "California Spring," Albert Bierstadt
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco fully support the intention behind Slow Streets. We are pro-bike, pro-pedestrian, pro-public transportation, and pro-equitable access. Meanwhile, as the City’s art institution, we are proud to serve constituents from all walks of life and in every neighborhood of San Francisco. As such, we support the modified and safe reopening of JFK East with access for all. The closure has disproportionately impacted members of the community with limited mobility. While it is great for those who can walk or bike to the de Young, it negatively impacts a significant group of our local community, including people with disabilities, those with ADA placards, the elderly, families with infants and young children, and others. Due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the SFMTA is currently running 70% of pre-COVID service and has reduced capacity by 70%, making it even more challenging for residents to get to Golden Gate Park. SFMTA has projected to restore service up to 85% of pre-COVID levels in 2022.
According to the CDC, the most common disability type, mobility, affects 1 in 7 adults and 2 in 5 adults age 65 and older. The Music Concourse parking garage, which is controlled by a third party, not the de Young, is not a viable option for many visitors to the park due to the high cost of parking.
We are advocating for a comprehensive study and redesign of the traffic flow within Golden Gate Park, allowing for fully protected, non-intersecting pathways for pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles. In the meantime, our hope is that a modified reopening of JFK between Transverse and Eighth Avenue, incorporating one-way circulation would reduce traffic traveling at unsafe speeds, and fully protected lanes would simultaneously allow safe access for pedestrians and bicycles. Our city is committed to equity and inclusivity — let’s take this opportunity to act on our commitment to these essential values and find a solution that actually serves all of the constituents of Golden Gate Park.