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Permanent Car-Free Promenade Coming to SF’s McLaren Park?

First turned car-free at the start of the pandemic, the western portion of John F. Shelley Drive may stay a car-free promenade indefinitely
By - posted 2/27/2023 No Comment

By Olivia Wynkoop, Bay City News Foundation

San Francisco is considering turning a portion of McLaren Park’s John F. Shelley Drive into a car-free promenade.

Mirroring Golden Gate Park’s John F. Kennedy Drive, the roadway, which loops through the McLaren Upper Reservoir and the Redwood Playground Picnic Area, first turned car-free in the beginning of the pandemic. Cars have since been barred from accessing the western portion of the road, between the Upper Reservoir Parking Lot and Mansell Street, though amenities like the Redwood Grove Playground Picnic Area are still accessible to vehicles via the park’s entrance at Cambridge Street.

After receiving $6 million in city funds, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department officials are thinking of turning the western portion of the road into a car-free promenade indefinitely, while adding programming, adjacent parking and improved access for pedestrians and bicycles.

San Francisco will consider a proposed car-free promenade segment on the Western portion of the John Shelley Drive and will review:

  • Extent of a promenade, access to promenade, and adjacent parking
  • Possible programming within a car-free promenade
  • Improving pedestrian and bike access on John Shelley Drive East and North

Find more information on the McLaren Park Vision Plan.

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