The San Francisco Transit Riders asked Streetsblog to print their recent open letter to San Francisco officials endorsing their vision for a car-free JFK ride. Here is their policy statement/letter below, unedited:
Dear Mayor London Breed, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Board of Directors, SF Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg, and the SF Recreation and Parks Commission :
As the voice of riders across the city, San Francisco Transit Riders urges you to keep JFK Drive car-free and make significant investments to improve transit access to and within the park, especially for equity priority communities. By pairing a car-free JFK Drive with continued investments in public transit, San Francisco can live up to its transit-first policy and promote a more equitable, liveable, and sustainable city for all. Car-Free JFK increases the amount of safe open space available to all San Franciscans. It directly benefits public transit by increasing the speed and reliability of 44 O’Shaughnessy and encouraging the roughly 16,000 daily car trips in the park before the pandemic to switch to more sustainable modes of transportation like public transit. .
However, while we support the permanent closure of JFK Drive to cars, it must be accompanied by significant investments in public transit to ensure that all people – especially those living in isolated areas away from the park or with disabilities – have equitable access to the park and its amenities and that people who previously drove through the park have adequate transportation alternatives.
At a minimum, rapid-build, transit-priority upgrades that improve the speed and reliability of transit along the nine Muni routes that serve the park should be implemented as soon as possible with the full support of the Mayor. , the Supervisory Board and the SFMTA. These improvements should ideally have been implemented in concert with the initial closure of JFK Drive to cars and should not be further delayed. As operator availability permits, these improvements should be combined with increased public transport service – particularly at weekends – to the park, including the creation of a 29 Rapid bus to better connect the residents of equity priority communities such as Bayview at Golden Gate Park and other destinations. through the city.
We do not recommend the private vehicle access loop alternative as it will interfere with public transit by adding more traffic to Fulton and 8th Avenue. This traffic diversion is not fully mitigated by the Fulton Street Improvement Project and will have negative impacts on the 5 and 5R which have carried over 10,000 people daily throughout the pandemic.
Finally, the city should provide well-maintained paved pathways and ramps at all shuttle and Muni stops, clear signage and benches at all stops in and around the park, ensure that travel times waiting times for shuttles and public transport are less than 15 minutes and allow adapted transport on all closed stops. sections of roads inside the park. These changes must be in place before JFK Drive is permanently closed.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Zack Deutsch Gross
Director of Advocacy
San Francisco Transit Passengers