Proposition J — Recreational Use of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park

See our November 2022 SF Election Guide for a nonpartisan analysis of measures and contests on the ballot in San Francisco for the election occurring Nov. 8, 2022. Voters will consider the following proposition in that election.

Proposition J is primarily designed to counter another measure on the ballot — Proposition I — which would overturn a Board of Supervisors ordinance passed in April 2022 closing off John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park to motorized vehicles. It requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.

Proposition J would add those changes to the park code. The goal is to shift park access away from car traffic and toward pedestrian and bicycle use.

The measure would also protect the weekend closure of the Great Highway along Ocean Beach and plans to turn part of that roadway between Sloat and Skyline boulevards into nature trails and parking. City planners say that erosion from sea level rise makes the maintenance of the entire Great Highway unfeasible in the long term. Changes to the Great Highway and wastewater treatment facilities are outlined in the Ocean Beach Climate Adaptation Project.

The Yes on J campaign claims that public use of the park has increased by 35% since the closure of JFK and the Great Highway and that 70% of people surveyed support the closure. No details were given on how the survey was conducted. They also cite traffic data that found JFK Drive was among the top 13% of most dangerous San Francisco streets when it was open to car traffic. The campaign also said that the city has added 29 new ADA parking spaces behind the Music Bandshell, exceeding the number of spaces that were eliminated when JFK Drive was turned into the JFK Promenade.

A paid ballot statement from the Prop. J Hurts Seniors campaign asserts that “without access to JFK Drive, it is impossible for many seniors to visit Golden Gate Park, its museums and attractions,” and adding that “many seniors do not have access to reliable public transit and cannot walk long distances and rely on cars to get around.”

Proposition J would pass on a simple majority vote. The Board of Supervisors can amend the ordinance by a majority vote. If Proposition J passes with more votes than Proposition I. then the latter would have no legal effect.

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