SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to make John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park permanently car-free, Mayor London Breed announced Tuesday. A press release from Breed’s office said the change will make the park easier to access for seniors, disabled people and people who live farther away.

The board voted to make the 1.5-mile stretch of road car-free after meeting for 12 hours with hundreds of public comments.

“Today is a historic day,” Breed said on Twitter. “The Board just voted to make JFK Drive permanently car-free. An essential space for our residents and families that is now, a long-term benefit to this city. We still have work to do, but passing this legislation is where we begin to make real change.”

JFK Drive, which is located between Kezar Drive and Lincoln Way, was closed two years ago to allow for socially distanced recreation activities during the pandemic. The ordinance that passed Tuesday will allow for new and expanded transportation programs, additional parking and new drop-off and pick-up areas.

The plan is designed to make Golden Gate Park easier to access for all types of transportation, the press release said. The park will have more than 5,000 parking spots and will retain 80 percent of roadways for driving.

Senator Scott Wiener of District 11 was among the people who approved of the legislation.

“As a long-time supporter of car-free JFK, I’m ecstatic the Board of Supervisors approved this visionary project for our city,” he said. “Car-free JFK has been a huge success, and we need to make it permanent. I’m grateful to Mayor Breed and the Board for taking this step.”

Kids Safe SF, an organization that had been advocating for keeping JFK Drive car-free, also applauded the board’s decision, saying “with this legislation, city leaders are establishing the importance of kid-safe spaces for families, seniors, people with disabilities, and every San Franciscan to play, travel safely, and gather, especially in Golden Gate Park.”

Several organizations had been working for months to influence the board’s decision, getting people to sign postcards to the supervisors urging them to keep the space car-free permanently. Opponents of the move had wanted to open JFK on weekdays for more car accessibility. Critics argue that keeping JFK car-free makes the park less accessible to disabled people.

Mayor Breed argues the vote now greenlights dozens of improvements to the park that will make it more accessible. JFK Drive was first made car-free back in April of 2020 to create a space where people could safely exercise with social distancing during the early days of the pandemic.