Lee Heidhues 12.26.2021
The San Francisco Chronicle published a lead editorial vigorously calling for JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to be designated permanently car free. The predicatable push back from the spoiled Entitled motorists. I refuse to be cowed by these people who seemingly know no other way of life than a Car. Pathetic. The following is posted in the Chronicle reader comments section.
I am beyond fed up with Seniors who believe because of their age that the rest of the World owes “us” a favor. “Us”? My wife and I are setuagenarians Our modes of transit are bicycles, our feet and public transit. It has been that way for our entire relationship.
We raised a family in San Francisco and traveled to the Fine Arts Museum with no problems. The two of us still cycle on car free JFK Drive to attend the de Young as long time members.
For seniors to make their spurious claim they have a right and need to drive and park on JFK Drive is a total non starter. It is selfishness in the extreme. There are thousands upon thousands of others who are enjoying JFK Drive without the need to park their cars on this thoroughfare.
The Seniors, by this unrelenting wailing and faux sense of entitlement, are destroying the future happiness of current and future generations. Life is finite. Think about it and stop the complaining. This comment is directed specifically at never stop kvetching Seniors and their Entitled cheerleaders.
Glad to read the Chronicle is standing up to the Fine Arts Museum aristocracy’s and their camp followers wailing to have cars be permitted on JFK Drive to assist their corporate benefactors. To read The maudlin non stop Entitled motorists kvetch about 1.5 miles of road being car free in a City with 1200 miles of road to drive on. Nobody has a lifetime Permit to drive anywhere anytime irrespective of the faux message being pitched about inconvenience.
Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 12.26.2021
Urban theorist Jane Jacobs wrote in her seminal book “Death and Life of Great American Cities” that “the destructive effect of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building.”
It would be difficult to find a better illustration of this point than San Francisco’s John F. Kennedy Drive prior to its closure to vehicle traffic in April 2020.
Before the pandemic, JFK was one of the most dangerous and deadliest streets in San Francisco. There were 91 crashes on it from 2014 through its 2020 closure. That’s mostly because 75% of people traveling on JFK had no intention of visiting the park; they were simply using it as a cut-through.
This would be a policy failure for any city; for a supposedly transit-first city like San Francisco, however, it was an inexcusable display of incompetence.
Few would object to a gentle street through Golden Gate Park that enables slow, but convenient vehicle access, especially for the mobility impaired, to the park’s amenities. But allowing the main thoroughfare of the city’s marquee park to become a high-speed commuter freeway — as it once was — was a gross and too-often deadly civic failure that can never again be allowed to repeat itself.
To ensure JFK remains a safe and enjoyable space, worthy of one of the most stunning urban parks in the world, it should remain closed to cars in 2022 and beyond.