SAN FRANCISCO─On Monday, April 27 it was announced by the Mayor’s Office that starting on Tuesday, April 28 at 6 a.m., a part of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park and John F. Shelley Drive in John McLaren Park will be closed to vehicles 24 hours per day during the San Francisco Stay Home Order. The new Order has been extended until the end of May.
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, street closures will provide ample space for individuals to exercise in Golden Gate Park and McLaren Park to ensure physical distancing.
“We know that people need to go outside, whether to get exercise or just clear their head, and closing JFK and Shelley Drive to cars will make it easier for people who choose to leave their home to stay six feet apart from others,” said Mayor Breed. “That said, we all need to work together to keep slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Everyone must continue to stay home as much as possible and follow all public health recommendations.”
“Getting outdoors supports our physical and mental health,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “We need to continue to do it safely. Springtime weather and our extended Stay Home Order make it tempting to gather outdoors, but to protect each other from the coronavirus we need to keep up San Francisco’s good work: staying 6 feet away from anyone outside our households and covering our faces.”
The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department is closing JFK Drive to vehicular traffic from Kezar Drive to Transverse Drive until the Stay Home Order is lifted. This street closure is the same as the regular Sunday street closure in Golden Gate Park. Shelley Drive in McLaren Park will also be closed to car traffic for the duration of the Stay Home Order. The gates at Cambridge and Mansell Streets will be locked, closing the entire Shelley Drive loop to vehicles.
While the street closures are intended to increase space for people to get outside, the Department of Public Health and the Recreation and Parks Department is alerting the public park users must practice social distancing. People over 60 years of age and/or people who have underlying health conditions, and people who are sick should not leave their homes.
“Now more than ever, San Franciscans are relying on our parks and urban trails to relieve stress and give a sense of familiarity during this unprecedented time,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. “Parks aren’t a luxury; they are a necessity.”
For more details on how the Stay Home Order has affected San Francisco parks, go to: https://sfrecpark.org.
Mayor Breed and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) disclosed last week the Slow Streets program would limit through traffic on select streets. Slow Streets are intended to provide a network of streets that prioritize walking and biking for essential trips while still allowing local vehicle traffic. Visit sfmta.com/COVID19 for a map of candidate Slow Streets, updated Muni service, and the latest agency updates.
“The Stay Home Order has created a more urgent need for San Franciscans to walk and bike for essential trips,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “It’s critical to expand our network of streets prioritizing the appropriate space for some of our most vulnerable road users.”
Other Public Health Orders and recommendations from DPH can be found at sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp. Mayoral declarations regarding COVID-19 can be found at sfmayor.org/mayoral-declarations-regarding-covid-19.
For more information, you can also call 311. For official updates, sign up for the City’s alert service: text COVID19SF to 888-777.
Written By Casey Jacobs