Healthy Saturdays

A congratulation goes out to the City of San Francisco for allowing a section of JFK Drive to be closed to automobile traffic on Saturdays. A larger section has been closed to auto traffic on Sundays for years. In fact, it shows up in guidebooks as one of the things to do if you are in town on a Sunday.

For anyone who has ever been through Golden Gate Park on a Sunday, it is a completely different experience. Parents teaching their children to ride bicycles, rollerbladers, bicycles and pedestrians everywhere, and…..silence. No engines to be heard. This may seem minor until you realize how loud city life is and also what your idea of a park is. All week long Golden Gate Park is simultaneously a throughway for local traffic and home to many enticing attractions. On Sundays it becomes a noiseless wonderland and now Saturdays will be the same urban oasis.

San Francisco is of course not the only place in the world experimenting with car-free spaces. The question this begs is “what is the definition of park?” And also, “what should be the use of public space?” Everyone has a different opinion, right? We live in a democracy and still enjoy freedom of speech and movement, mostly.

So what is your definition of a park?

Published in: on May 6, 2007 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment