SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today the construction of a new free-standing restroom at Golden Gate Park’s Boat Playground located at 45thAvenue and Lincoln Way. The $ 2 million restroom construction is a community driven project, advocated for by an Outer Sunset community group called the 45th Avenue Neighborhood Association. The majority of the funding was secured by District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang through the City’s General Fund. In recent years, Supervisor Tang has continued her efforts to secure funding to improve parks and open space in District 4, including improvements along Great Highway, Sloat Boulevard, and South Sunset Recreation Center.
“Sunset residents have never been more excited about a restroom project in our neighborhood,” said District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang whose district boarders Golden Gate Park Boat Playground. “Children and families should be able to spend time at our City’s playgrounds without worrying about having to leave to find a restroom. I thank our neighbors for identifying this need and working with the City to get this project off the ground.”
Given the fact that there is no public restroom within 15-minute walk in the area, the 45th Avenue Neighborhood Association requested the free-standing restroom be constructed. The group has expressed concerns that the absence of a restroom at the popular and often-used Boat Playground and surrounding recreation area, has created challenging conditions for children and their families, especially now the area has become a vital part of the daily life of the Outer Sunset community.
“When we surveyed residents of the Sunset four years ago to see if they would support an effort to build a restroom in the ‘Boat Park’, the response was overwhelmingly positive, especially from parents, grandparents, and elderly residents. Now, people who hold parties, family reunions, and other gatherings in the playground don’t have to cut their activities short, or use the bushes. We really appreciate Supervisor Katy Tang and her staff’s support and guidance on getting this project approved and under way,” said Ginger Tulley, leader of the 45th Avenue Neighborhood SAFE Association.
According to Recreation and Park Department’s Historian-in-Residence, Christopher Pollock, a small flat-bottomed boat with high flaring sides, also known as a dory, placed in the Boat Playground is a unique form of boat that was used by the United States Coast Guard formerly known as the United States Life-Saving Service. The agency’s station was located at the northwest corner of the Golden Gate Park from 1878 until 1951. During this period, the agency used this type of boat to save shipwrecked people off the Ocean Beach. Mr. Pollock concluded that while it has not been verified if the dory at the Boat Playground directly came from the station when the agency relocated, it is likely the case.
“We are thankful that Supervisor Katy Tang is responsive to the needs of our community, and for all the support and advocacy from the 45th Avenue Neighborhood Association. Because of their efforts, we are able to provide this important amenity in Golden Gate Park so everyone can get out and play with no interruption,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park Department’s General Manager.
Based on feedback provided by park users, the Department’s capital and operation teams developed the project in partnership with SF Public Works. The proposed project will install a free-standing, all-gender restroom building that is consistent as the traditional deign restroom design prototype that has been approved by the Rec and Park Commission previously. The project will also include new water, electrical and sanitary utilities services to Lincoln Way as well as to improve pedestrian path that would meet ADA access requirements. New landscape will be added in the area and the irrigation system will be adjusted to adequate maintain and care for all existing and new planting.
The construction is expected to begin by November this year.