Healthy Saturdays Are Back!

1347902403_0ce98fccec.jpgFlickr photo: Kate McCarthy, sfbike

Last Saturday, as I was pedaling through Golden Gate Park, alongside a
glut of bumper-to-bumper cars, I kept thinking to myself, "Why did I
come on Saturday?" It had been so long since I spent a Saturday in GG
Park. The juxtaposition was disgusting to me: a gaggle of cars
against the lush green of a national park. On the lower portion of JFK Drive, as it bends toward the Dutch Windmill and Ocean Beach, I watched the irate faces of
a few impatient drivers, red with anger that a pedestrian dare cross
the street in a park. "This is taking forever!" I heard one of them
shout.

But guess what? I had forgotten. Beginning tomorrow, and for the next six months, San Franciscans will get to enjoy a mostly car-free Golden Gate Park on Saturdays. It’s already permanent on Sundays. For the third year in a row, the Department of Park and Rec will open JFK Drive from Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive to Transverse Drive to bicyclists, pedestrians and anyone who wants to enjoy healthy activity in a space free of motor vehicles for 24 Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition plans to celebrate this year’s first Healthy Saturday with "Freedom From Training Wheels."  They’re also holding a potluck from 12 to 2 p.m.

Going to the first Healthy Saturday of 2009? Submit your pictures for our Eyes on the Street feature. Join our Flickr pool here, or add to our feed by
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IMG_2628.jpgThat’s how we like it!   Photo: Bryan Goebel
  • PaulCJr

    I love car free Saturday and Sunday in the park. Its nice to be able to stroll around and not be worried about getting mowed down by a driver. Watch out for the cyclist though. J/k

  • mcas

    …the sign should read ‘to car traffic’ because the road is, actually, not closed– it is in a modified form than it is the majority of the day, but it’s certainly, to non-autos, ‘open’.

    It’s important, I believe, to start saying ‘opening’ the road for events like Sunday Streets/Ciclovia/’Car-free’ areas. Lakoff, yadda, yadda, but it’s important to frame as positive (i.e. NOT ‘closed’ or event for that matter, ‘car-free’– it needs to be defined not by lack of cars, but by opening to humans…

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    @mcas: also, from the article, GGP is hardly “mostly car-free.” It’s more like 5% car free by lane-mile.

  • Both points taken. I figured saying “mostly car-free” was more accurate than saying “car-free Golden Gate Park.” But now that you point it out Jeffrey, you’re right. It is partially car-free.

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