Skate park rollout fetches bumpy reception in San Francisco

Big draw: The temporary skate park on Waller Street

Big draw: The temporary skate park on Waller Street

Every day around 3 p.m., a closed-off portion of Waller Street in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood becomes a symphony of wheels rolling on pavement and clanging on benches.

The half-block area on the southeastern side of Golden Gate Park was recently outfitted with temporary ramps and obstacles to create a skate park. Opponents say noise and graffiti are prevalent, but supporters say skaters would have no place to go without it.

“It’s the chicken-and-the-egg thing,” said San Francisco Skateboarding Association President Bryan Hornebeck. “You gave us no place to skate, but we’ve got to skate somewhere, and you’re pissed off if it’s in your front yard.”

Because there is no other location to legally skate in The City, Hornebeck and the association have worked with the Recreation and Park Department to determine several new locations to create skate parks. Though critics have said the facilities create the potential for danger, the one built already is bursting at the seams.

“Some people won’t go there because it’s so crowded some days,” Hornebeck said.

A resolution was passed in 2008 — and supported by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, whose district includes the Haight-Ashbury — that called for a skate park to be built in Golden Gate Park.

A lack of funding and excessive government oversight slowed the process, according to Alex Randolph, deputy director of community and government affairs. Benches were installed last month, and each Friday temporary ramps are brought in.

Karen Crommie, a member of the Cole Valley Improvement Association, said though a permanent skate park is a “done deal,” she doesn’t see it as the best use of space.

“Where Haight meets Stanyan, the location of the skate park, is a place where a lot of druggies hang out,” Crommie said. “It seems so inadvisable to bring young people into the area.”

Concerns also include noise, graffiti and the conflict of use since the same area hosts a farmers market Wednesday nights and Off-The-Grid food truck events Thursday nights, Crommie said.

The skate park will be available in its temporary form through March. After that, Rec and Park will determine the next course of action to make something permanent, Randolph said.

Boarding zones

Proposed new skate park locations:

– South of Market

– Sunset district

– Mission Bay

Source: San Francisco Skateboarding Association

Bay Area NewsLocalneighborhoodsRecreation and Park DepartmentSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Server Dragos Pintlie drops off a bay shrimp louie salad for Howard Golden at John’s Grill as indoor dining resumes on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand… Continue reading

A building at 468 Turk St. on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenderloin residents push back on group housing project proposals

Advocates call for larger units to draw families, counter large number of SROs in neighborhood

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) slides into home for the score on a triple by San Francisco Giants left fielder Austin Slater (13) in the 6th inning at Oracle Park on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants bats rally for Gausman

Through the first 10 games of the 2021 season, the story for… Continue reading

Most Read