New Entrance for Park Garage Gets
By Carol Dimmick
The SF Recreation and Park Commission gave its stamp
of approval to a controversial plan to build a southern
entrance to an underground parking garage, now under
construction in Golden Gate Park, which begins in the
Inner Sunset District.
The plan, which now goes to the court for final approval,
creates dedicated lanes for cars traveling to and from
a new 800-space parking garage underneath the Music
Concourse by widening Martin Luther King Drive by four
feet from Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way to the entrance
of the garage, which is located about one-quarter mile
To make room for the new lanes, which would also accommodate
Muni buses and bicyclists, 86 parking spaces would be
removed along the route.
The unanimous vote to approve the southern entrance
came after hours of heated testimony at a hearing held
Nov. 29 and from input during the project's design stage
from the SF Municipal Transportation Authority (MTA),
pedestrian groups, bicyclists, seniors and Sunset District
residents and merchants.
The concept drew heated criticism from members of the
groups, who urged commissioners to delay the vote until
a better plan could be worked out.
"Adding lanes of traffic in either direction makes
it less safe for pedestrians. I don't want to be forced
into an automobile to be safe," said Cheryl Brinkman,
a member of the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee.
Nancy Connor, president of the Golden Gate Park Concourse
Authority (GGPCA), the working body that approved the
entrance earlier in the month, told commissioners the
concept was a work in progress and that there would
be time to work out problems during the design process.
"We only need two dedicated lanes, everything
else is in play," Connor said at the hearing.
However, the entrance could still run into opposition
from members of the SF Board of Supervisors.
In October, Supervisor Tom Ammiano introduced a resolution
that would require the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority
to work with MTA and bicycle and pedestrian groups to
reach consensus on a design for the new southern entrance
to the garage.
"Rescue Muni, the Sierra Club and the bicycle
coalition are all on the same page and that speaks to
me loudly," Supervisor Aaron Peskin said at a Nov.
24 meeting of the Finance and Audit Committee, which
held a public hearing on the matter.
Next Year's Transportation Plan Gets OK
In October the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority
approved a Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for
the next fiscal year. The plan, which seeks to reduce
the impact of cars while promoting pedestrian safety
and the use of bicycles in the park, will focus on implementing
a series of improvements set in motion over the last
Marilyn Duffy, whose company Duffy Transportation worked
with numerous city agencies and public groups to develop
the plan, told board members she will focus on securing
a permanent source of funding for a shuttle bus that
has provided transportation for more than 25,000 park
visitors during the last four years.
In addition, Duffy told commission members she will
focus next year on implementing a series of traffic-calming
measures along John F. Kennedy Drive by adding crosswalks
at the Rose Garden and curbing stops in the parking
lot of the tennis courts to protect pedestrian walkways.
She also wants to build a proposed bike lane for Kennedy
Drive and start a series of bicycle improvements at
Page and Stanyan streets.