Campbell took a visitor to the top of the tower and pointed down at the drive which was, on this weekday morning, fairly empty — no cars, of course, but not many pedestrians either, though it would fill up as the day got later. “We all share the vision of zero accidents and fewer cars, but the abrupt closure, under cover of the Covid crisis, without full analysis, is really impacting access to the park and access to the museums,” he said.
Ike Kwon, chief operating officer of the California Academy of Sciences, said his patrons had complained of congestion on alternate routes to that museum. “It really does have an impact on those with mobility challenges, and also people with younger children who come from far away,” he said.
Shamann Walton, the president of the board of supervisors, argued in an op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner that banning cars was “recreational redlining”; cutting off the park to people with disabilities and minorities who do not live near Golden Gate.
Yet many people believe that even during this difficult time for the arts — and in a city known for its vibrant arts scene — the priorities in a post-Covid world have become clear. David G. Miles Jr., a roller-skater who has been pushing to prohibit vehicle traffic from the park for 40 years, said he doubted cars would ever return, no matter how much the museums object.