A car-free route along a portion of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park has existed since 1967, when street closures began every Sunday, on many Saturdays and during holidays and special events, allowing park visitors of all ages and abilities to use the roadway free of car traffic. In 2020, as the city grappled with the COVID pandemic, this portion of JFK, along with other roads in the park, were closed to vehicle traffic seven days a week.
On April 28, 2022, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved Mayor London Breed’s legislation to ensure JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park remains vehicle-free permanently. The legislation, co-sponsored by Supervisors Matt Haney, Rafael Mandelman, and Dean Preston, greenlit approximately 55 improvements to make the park easier to access for seniors, the disability community, and those who live further away.
Today, the new JFK Promenade is enjoyed by a wide range of park visitors.
Promenade Play Days: Exciting Activations Coming this Fall
In the coming weeks, Rec and Park and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) are experimenting with various temporary activations involving design, art, food, social seating, lighting and interactive elements to see what fits best with the goals of JFK, including:
- Street art and interactive games
- Chairs for relaxing
- A public Halloween event
- Flower piano installations
- Live performances and music
- Food trucks
Starting Monday, Aug. 29: For approximately three weeks, crews will be out on JFK between 6th and 10th avenues and at JKF and Kezar Drive grinding away the old roadway markings to make way for vibrant new roadway paint welcoming people to the Promenade. There will be some dust from this work, but we’ll direct promenade visitors around the construction areas with cones, and thoroughly sweep afterward.
Starting Monday, Sept. 12 and continuing: Paint the Void, a San Francisco nonprofit that brings creativity to everyday urban spaces while supporting local artists, will launch “Paint the Promenade.” In addition, San Francisco arts nonprofit Illuminate will install temporary exhibitions designed to highlight the promise and potential of the promenade, including:
- Doggie Diner heads along JFK Drive between Conservatory Drive West and 6th Avenue
- 100 chairs set up for relaxing and socializing
- Illuminate will install two pianos along JFK Drive—one at Conservatory Drive West and the other between Stow Lake Drive and East 14th Avenue.
Friday, Oct. 28: Rec and Park will host a Halloween event similar to “Scaregrove,” where visitors of all ages can enjoy decorations and attractions along JFK Drive.
Thursday, Dec. 1: Rec and Park annual tree lighting celebration.
- Oct 8
- Learn More
People of the Promenade
Meet the interesting folks we find enjoying the JFK Promenade, like Billy, who has lived near Golden Gate Park since the psychedelic 1960s. In his time, he’s watched icons like Janis Joplin and The Doors perform at the park. Of Joplin, he said, “To hear the sound of her voice just makes me shiver, you know what I mean? She was something else. She will always be my favorite.” Read more
Free Adaptive Bike Program
+ Almost 7 million visits have been made to the JFK portion of the car-free route since the closure, that's 36% more daily park visits than before the closure
+ 93.4% of the regular weekday parking within the park is still available
+ Before becoming car-free, 75% of westbound vehicle trips on JFK were to get somewhere else in the City, not to reach a park destination
+ JFK represents only 9.6% of the roadways in the park
Be kind, say hello, ride slow on the JFK Promenade
You might see some new signs on the JFK Promenade! These signs are a reminder to be safe, say hello, ride slow, and to enjoy this shared space! Read more about our campaign with SFMTA to keep the JFK Promenade fun, safe, and accessible for all.