San Francisco Closes Golden Gate Park's JFK Drive and McLaren Park's Shelley Drive to Vehicles to Support Physical Distancing
Road closures will help people maintain required physical distance when walking, running, or biking in Golden Gate Park and John McLaren Park.
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that beginning Tuesday, April 28 at 6:00am, a portion 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 throughout the duration of San Francisco’s Stay Home Order, which will soon be extended through May. The street closures are intended to ensure there is enough space for people who choose to exercise in Golden Gate Park and McLaren Park to maintain required 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 will close 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 be closed to vehicular 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 remind the public that 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 information on how the Stay Home Order has affected San Francisco parks, go to: https://sfrecpark.org.
Last week, Mayor Breed and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced the Slow Streets program to 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. Please 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.”
People engaged in the essential activities described in the order must practice the following to avoid getting sick and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from other people when on essential outings such as grocery shopping, riding public transit to an essential job, or walking your dog.
- Face coverings are not required for outdoor exercise, such as walking, hiking, bicycling, or running. However, anyone exercising should have a face covering with them and readily accessible, even if they’re not wearing it at that moment.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Do not shake hands.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.
Find the answers to frequently asked questions about the order at SF.gov/coronavirus.
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.