Playgrounds pocked with toxic equipment would be replaced, rutted basketball courts would be resurfaced, and overgrown trails, worn swimming pools and funky public bathrooms would all be made functional under a plan city leaders unveiled Tuesday to improve San Francisco’s vast network of parks.
Now it will be up to city voters to approve it. The proposal calls for a $195 million general obligation bond that would need the support of at least two-thirds of voters in the November election to pass.
The bond would be broken down into four main components: $99 million for neighborhood parks; $21 million for three parks deemed citywide draws – Golden Gate, McLaren and Lake Merced; $40.5 million for such citywide programs as water conservation, trail restoration and replacing arsenic-tainted wooden play structures; and $34.5 million for waterfront parks.
Voters already approved two other park-improvement bonds, one worth $110 million in 2000 and another one for $185 million in 2008. But there are an estimated $1.5 billion or more in unfunded capital needs in the system, park officials say, and the regular budget just won’t cover all the expenses.
“We’ve begun to chip away, but the needs are still great,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department. “People are loving our parks to death.”