Awesome. Panhandle to the Pacific: car-free route opens in Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park was never meant to be a freeway. At long last San Francisco City Hall is in agreement. It has been a struggle.

I am beyond ecstatic. Despite the yammering and caterwauling of motorists and their political enablers who feel their right to unimpeded access to every nook and cranny is inviolate San Francisco has said STOP!!!

At long last cyclists, runners, walkers and all those who treasure a car free environment have prevailed.

The next step needs to be permanent closure of the Great Highway along the Pacific Ocean coastline.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 9.23.2020

San Francisco expanded its Slow Streets program recently with the opening of the final link of a car-free route through Golden Gate Park, enabling a cyclist, jogger or hiker to pass from the Panhandle to the Pacific without coming into contact with an internal combustion engine.

People on two legs, and on two wheels, were predictably ecstatic. People in four-wheeled vehicles — at least some of them — were hotter than a crankcase.

“This,” said cyclist Trevor Gould of San Francisco, coasting down Martin Luther King Drive toward the largest ocean in the world, “is wonderful. What a great freedom, not to have to worry about getting run over.”

Car Free GG Park II 4.27.2020.jpg

“Our quality of life just went up,” said Justin Davis, who was pushing his 9-month-old son, Levon, in a jogging stroller.

The new route through the park joins at the western end with a 2-mile stretch of Great Highway that has also been closed to cars — establishing a car-free path from the middle of San Francisco to the San Francisco Zoo in the southwest corner. About all the park department was unable to do is eliminate the uphill pedaling required for an eastbound park cyclist, or pave over the notorious potholes on MLK Drive.

“Exercising and playing outdoors lift our spirits during these challenging times,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department. “We’re delighted to open even more space in our park.”

Stop Police Terror I 5.31.2020

Park ranger Evan Gataveckas, enforcing the new no-car policy on MLK Drive, said motorists had been cooperative and he had yet to write a ticket, although he does hold that tool in reserve as a last resort.

“I think the closure is a great idea if it keeps people healthy,” he said.