Closing JFK Drive is recreational redlining

By Community Contributor : sfexaminer – excerpt

Some advocates say that closing John F. Kennedy Drive to cars denies people of color and those with disabilities equal access to Golden Gate Park. Kevin N. Hume/ S.F. Examiner Advocates say that closing John F. Kennedy Drive to cars denies people of color and with disabilities equal access to Golden Gate Park. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The history of redlining in America has impacted communities of color for decades. San Francisco is no exception. The recent special order to close off John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park is an example of recreational redlining: the discriminatory practice of denying public recreation and access to people of color and people with disabilities. If the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department continue this closure beyond the stay-at-home order (which has already been lifted), they will be responsible for preventing communities that live in the southeast part of San Francisco, other communities further from JFK Drive, and people with disabilities from fully enjoying the park…(more)

SFMTA needs to back off and leave people alone. They can and will get themselves where they need to go without NO expense to the public if they are allowed to do so. This is not a game of “How can we generate enough income so SFMTA ca nget us where we need to go.” This is a simple request to “leave us alone to get ourselves around at not cost to the public”. At some point the government needs to take a hands off approach to how we live our lives instead of charging us to rearrange them.

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We agree completely with the issues raised by the author of the article. We very much appreciate the concerns of the supervisors over the management of Golden Gate Park and the out-of-control departments that make backroom deals with corporate entities. It appears that the public, the Board of Supervisors and probably the Mayor were unaware of these arrangements.

We call for immediate investigations into any and all deals that exclude public access to any areas of the park. We also call for an immediate investigation into any and all backroom deals between government representatives and the Parks Alliance, and all private entities, whether or not they involve a cash transaction.

In the meantime open all the roads in the park to the public including private vehicles. It is obvious that the public is best suited to watch over the pubic space. Park visitors immediately see any changes and do an excellent job of reporting back what they see.

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