Who's the poseur at City Hall?

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By G.W. Schulz

San Francisco has always been notoriously behind statewide on skatepark construction, despite the relatively small monetary investment they require and the high civic value they produce. One spot already exists at Crocker Amazon Park, but it’s largely regarded as mediocre. Conservative states years ago were funding the construction of skateparks through their public works departments and allowing young skaters to participate in the designs. Shit, rural Kansas was doing it a long time ago.

But kids in the Mission recently lost a good spot near Alabama and 21st when bulldozers moved in to begin construction on middle-income housing on the lot of the Mission Flea Market where ramps had been located temporarily. If you ask counselors at the after-school program for youth, Cellspace, located across the street, they’ll tell you the kids they see each week liked the ramps. Funny thing. San Francisco can’t seem to even get just a small amount of energy and money together for a few ramps. And all this talk about finding opportunities for kids who otherwise seem eager to shoot each other.

Well, the city’s finally put some contracts out for bid and says it will cost a mere $400,000 for the Potrero del Sol Park. The deadline for proposals was recently extended into February. As we’ve noted before, Newsom has made lots of promises in the past about getting some skateparks built. He even formed a cute little task force, but it looks like it will still be a while before ground is even broken at Potrero del Sol. Here’s a crappy depiction of the plan Parks and Rec posted on its site.

It could be much later in the year before we see another of the parks Newsom promised. For now, at least, the nonprofit San Francisco Tomorrow included in this month’s newsletter plans for a small proposed park in Golden Gate, which would be located at the abandoned Horseshoe Pits. Seems San Francisco Tomorrow is complaining about skaters tearing up fountains and curbs across the city, and the group says the cost could be just $20,000. Chump change for a slight nod at kids in the city who deserve much more.

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