SAN FRANCISCO, CA– City officials gathered with community members and dragon boat racers at Lake Merced today to say ahoy to a new boat dock and gangway that allows safer recreation for seniors and people with disabilities and ensures future access for the public, including youth and cultural groups, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced.
The $1.68 million overhaul included removing the old gangway and freeboard wooden dock and replacing them with improved and upgraded facilities that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The slope of the new gangway is more gentle and the dock is slightly larger at 140 feet, allowing for safe access to boats docked on either side. Additional improvements include landscaping, an accessible parking stall, a concrete path leading to the new dock, a new light pole and an asphalt driveway.
The project was largely funded through the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Community Opportunity Fund thanks to the advocacy of youth and adult boating communities.
“Lake Merced has long been an important recreation area for San Franciscans, a place where families can walk their dogs, fish, commune with wildlife, and launch their boats,” said current District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar. “The new dock and gangway are a testament to how much the community values this incredible resource.”
"The long-awaited new boat dock is an example of how a group from the community can get things done when they work together. This will benefit thousands of city residents for years to come," said former District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, who secured general fund support for the project when he served on the Board of Supervisors.
“For so many, the Lake Merced Boat Dock has been the launch point for a lifelong love of boating. This project was vital to ensure everyone has safe and equal access to get onto the water. The end result is accessible, beautiful, and will stand the test of time,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
A demonstration by the California Dragon Boat Association followed today’s ribbon cutting The project broke ground almost exactly one year earlier, on Nov. 12, 2020. It includes drainage and electrical infrastructure. The new dock and gangway are located on the North Lake, across from the Lake Merced Boathouse on the left side of the entrance road to Harding Park Golf Course.
The 600-acre Lake Merced park is owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Rec and Parks manages its recreation and natural resources.