Golden Gate Park’s JFK Drive has been closed to cars since April 2020, and its car-free status was a source of debate and rallying throughout the pandemic. That is, up until this past April, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to make car-free JFK permanent, and the matter looked settled.
Supporters of a campaign aiming to reopen John F. Kennedy Drive and the Great Highway to car traffic say they’ve gathered enough signatures to qualify their measure for the November ballot.https://t.co/E4exItBkUl— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) July 11, 2022
Folks, the matter is not settled. Just six weeks later, a group of disability advocates teamed up with the deYoung Museum, and started petitioning for a ballot measure to bring cars back to JFK Drive. And as the Chronicle reports, those groups submitted enough signatures Monday to get that measure on the November 8 ballot.
Grassroots supporters are handing in petition signatures for a ballot measure to reopen John F. Kennedy Drive and the Great Highway this Monday. https://t.co/uGvlUUt17j— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) July 10, 2022
KPIX reports that “Grassroots supporters” introduced the ballot measure to “reopen JFK Drive to cars on weekdays,” but the promenade would remain pedestrian- and cyclist-only on weekends for six months of the year. Additionally, “The Great highway would also be restored to vehicles only seven days a week from Lincoln Way to Skyline Boulevard” if this measure were to pass.
The campaign to reopen #JFKDrive to cars is expected to submit enough petition signatures today to SF's Dept of Elections to qualify for the Nov ballot.— Josh Koehn (@Josh_Koehn) July 11, 2022
Disclosure forms show socialite, philanthropist & @deyoungmuseum benefactor Dede Wilsey threw down $200K to fund the effort 🧵 pic.twitter.com/ec6hBYfw73
But with all due respect to KPIX, the movement may not be so “grassroots.” As the SF Standard’s Josh Koehn points out above, and as you can confirm in filings with the SF Ethics department, the entire $200,000 campaign was funded by one person — former deYoung Museum/Fine Arts Museums of SF chairperson Dede Wilsey. (The deYoung Museum is along JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.
"We must return back to the agreed-upon compromise for Sunday, holiday and partial Saturday closures of JFK Drive — this allows for equitable access and use of Golden Gate Park for all. The Great Highway must be reopened and returned to its original use as an essential route for nearly 20,000 daily users," Access for All said in a statement. "We can give access to everyone — seniors, people with disabilities, families, children, bicyclists — all members of the San Francisco community and visitors to our city."
Beautiful morning for a bike bus on car free JFK pic.twitter.com/bxGCWHnv8U— Anthony Ryan (@printtemps) April 22, 2022
That campaign got 17,581 signatures, nearly twice as many as needed. But there will also be a competing measure on the November ballot to keep JFK Drive car-free. That seems confusing, but take comfort bike-lovers. If both measures pass, the car-free JFK Drive measure will supersede the other measure and prevail.