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
tagging bookmarks in del.icio.us with for:sf.streetsblog, pictures in Flickr with sf.streetsblog, or videos in YouTube with sf.streetsblog.

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.