Pop-up SF skate park preview of bigger project
Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Word spread quickly among San Francisco skateboarders Tuesday that city officials had unpacked a “skate park in a box” on the eastern end of Golden Gate Park, providing a preview of a long-envisioned plan to create a permanent spot for boarders to practice their grinds, kickturns, shoveits and ollies.
Riis Mendelsohn, 12, took a quick break from attempting some of those and other skateboarding maneuvers as he looked over the temporary ramps and ledges that the Recreation and Park Department set up on the closed-off one-block stretch of Waller Street, just west of Stanyan Street.
“It’s beast,” said Mendelsohn, who lives nearby in the Richmond District. For the uninitiated, “beast” is skater-talk for great.
The city already has three permanent skate parks – in Hunters Point, Crocker-Amazon and the outer Mission – but none near the city’s western neighborhoods. The Board of Supervisors agreed in 2007 to place a skate park in Golden Gate Park. One location, near the horseshoe pits near Stanyan and Fulton streets, was rejected, and then attention turned to the Waller Street site.
The temporary setup on display Tuesday was taken down after one day. But next month, city officials plan to bring in pieces of granite and concrete barriers to create a skate park for a six-month trial. If that goes well, money would be sought to build a permanent one.
But some well-organized neighbors object, fearing the skate park will be a magnet for graffiti vandals and drug dealers, and draw a steady stream of skaters past their homes and businesses.
E-mail Rachel Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared on page C – 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle