JFK Promenade. 3-years ago today S.F. said ‘Yes’ to a car free oasis

Lee Heidhues 4.28.2023

It was three years ago on April 28, 2020 when Mayor Breed, during the midst of the Pandemic, decreed that a 1.5 mile portion of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park would be a dedicated pedestrian and cyclist oasis.

The beginning. JFK Drive – soon to be named JFK Promenade – April 29, 2020

Three years later JFK Promenade is now a permanent fixture in the San Francisco landscape. It was not an easy victory. Advocates had to wind their way through the City’s byzantine bureaucracy of multiple agencies and different agendas. Finally, the Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 to make JFK Promenade permanent.

But that was not the end. Motorists do not shut off their rhetorical engines quietly.

A lawsuit was filed and went all the way to the California Court of Appeal before being dismissed. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco sponsored a ballot measure to bring cars back to JFK Promenade. The Board of Supervisors put a competing measure on the ballot to maintain JFK Promenade. It won a smashing victory with 63 percent of the vote in November 2022.

JFK Promenade is here to stay.

To celebrate the third anniversary of this car free oasis a large number of people of all ages came out on a foggy afternoon to bask in the well earned and hard fought victory.


Liz Heidhues has ridden her bike through Golden Gate Park for over 50 years. She was out in style with her hand painted artwork. “Grannies Need Parks Not Parking Lots.”
Part of the throng and their bikes at the JFK Promenade anniversary party
The guitarist provided a pleasant musical vibe on a foggy afternoon on JFK Promenade.
Kids practice their climbing skills on the ‘Garfield’ statue adjacent to JFK Promenade
Two youngsters on the building blocks of Love near JFK Promenade
Indefatigable Walk San Francisco Executive Director Jodie Medeiros sporting appropriate green attire chats up the crowd on JFK Promenade
The Friday afternoon traffic on JFK Promenade
A cycling couple walk through the festivities on JFK Promenade.
Signs point pedestrians and cyclists in all directions on JFK Promenade
Checking out the anniversary party action on JFK Promenade
Walk San Francisco – A car-free JFK Drive for everyone – anniversary cake
Enjoying the foggy afternoon party on JFK Promenade
Cycling home Liz and Lee came upon this beautiful Heron surveying the action in Golden Gate Park
Car-free for good and celebrating it. S.F. Chronicle 4.30.2022