Herbalife Commercial Shoot In Golden Gate Park OK'd To Block Bike Lanes

This afternoon, we received a tip from the editor of SF Citizen: "Big film production in GGP now, FYI." According to photos he shared with us and on his blog, there are "many people and vehicles on site today near our Rose Garden," which is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive.

One of the photos in the tip depicts a Mercedes SUV blocking the bike lane and a cyclist navigating around the obstacle. "I’ll tell you, Hollywood just doesn’t get our local parking rules," wrote SF Citizen.

Film productions are permitted by FilmSF (part of the city's Film Commission), but because this is a commercial shoot taking place in Golden Gate Park, it fell under the purview of the Rec & Parks department.

Herbalife's permit required them to make a new bike lane with safety cones. | PHOTO: SF CITIZEN

According to Jim Johnson, the agency's permits and reservations film and photo coordinator, today's crew is producing a commercial for Herbalife, the LA-based health multilevel marketing company recently lambasted on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

"It's a one-day shoot, so they'll be through by 7pm," said Johnson. "When we have motorhomes or trucks like that, they are instructed to park up next to the curb," he said, "then, they create around these vehicles a bicycle lane with cones" to accommodate cyclists.

Part of the temporary bike lane is visible in this image. | PHOTO: SF CITIZEN

"So, that's what they did," said Johnson, who said Herbalife is in compliance with its permit. SF Citizen confirmed that the pylons were placed, but said "they didn't go far enough."

Johnson's office receives one to two requests each day to shoot still commercial photography and motion pictures in city parks. Permits are granted for everything from "small shoots" for travel photos to "filming car shoots on Twin Peaks," he said.

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