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Exclusive: Connie Chan says she’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ on JFK Drive compromise with the mayor

Supervisor Connie Chan will advocate for a “compromise” on JFK Drive to balance access concerns with safety in Golden Gate Park and expects she has enough colleagues on her side to reach a compromise with Mayor London Breed.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we will come to a compromise,” Chan said in an exclusive interview with The Standard. “When? I don’t know.”

Since Mayor London Breed introduced legislation to keep JFK Drive car-free, it’s now on the Board of Supervisors to decide the fate of the road. At the center of the debate is Chan, who represents San Francisco’s District 1, which encompasses the park. With several supervisors looking to Chan for guidance on how to vote, she is hopeful that she has the support to pass significant amendments to the current proposal. 

Breed’s proposal would keep JFK Drive closed to cars permanently while committing to key improvements to the park, like added bike and bus transit options within the park and more Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant parking spaces.

The Standard sat down with Chan to learn the specifics of her alternative plan. 

“I’m patient, but I think that the community feels like they can no longer wait for this to be resolved,” Chan said. “There are people who have felt like they’ve been kept out of the space.”

Here are Chan’s considerations as she weighs a “compromise”: the timing of the closure, which sections of the road would allow cars, where they could go and what kinds of traffic would be allowed.

If supervisors can’t hammer out a compromise, Chan said she may introduce her own ordinance competing with the mayor’s and expects a ballot measure may be necessary to address using public funding for the 800-space Music Concourse Garage that could provide improved access to museums and park attractions to drivers.

Han Li can be reached at