SoMa park doesn’t please all

Allison Kohler said she and her 3-year-old and 5-year-old sons get into a daily debate whether the waste they find in the local South of Market area parks are “person poop or dog poop.”

Unfortunately Kohler’s 3-year-old usually wins the argument when he points out that animals don’t use napkins when they are done, according to Kohler. She said filth in the parks around the South of Market neighborhood is just part of everyday life. It is why, she said, residents were happy that The City turned an abandoned lot on Folsom Street into Victoria Manalo Draves Park.

But despite the joy of a clean playground, some residents are upset that the park was opened before construction was complete, while others are worried it will soon be run over by trash and the homeless that are seen at other area parks.

“There are no restrooms and the lawn is fenced off,” Kohler said. “When we went we had to sort of circumnavigate the perimeter [because] most of the gates are locked.”

The bathrooms are still under construction, according to Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Marie Dennis. She said often parks are opened before the restrooms or other nonhazardous items are still being constructed. She added several parks in The City do not have restrooms at all.

Supervisor Chris Daly’s office, whose jurisdiction includes the area, said the opening of the park was rushed because The City had an obligation to have it ready by the beginning of the school year on Aug. 28. The Recreation and Park Department is finalizing an agreement with the Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, located across the street from the park, for the students to have nonexclusive access to the playground and field during the day. The park had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 27.

“Really, the point was to have the park available as soon as possible. And there was also programming for the schoolthat had to be open by a certain date,” said John Avalos, of Daly’s office. “Our office was trying really hard to be ready for Bessie for the first day of school that was really our drive to make sure it was available for the school.”

Dennis said the Recreation and Park Department is in constant communication with the Southern police station about keeping the park safe but she said the community needs to report any suspicious activities to The City. Colleen Flynn, of the Neighborhood Parks Council, said residents have formed a community group to take care of the park.

“[Safety] is a big issue there because of [the park’s] sheer location,” she said. “Specifically, people are concerned about the children’s playground area and that area remaining for adults accompanied by children, and that’s it.”

sfarooq@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

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

Just Posted

San Francisco Sheriff candidate Paul Miyamoto in a meeting with the Examiner editorial board on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New shelter-in-place order gives tenants a temporary reprieve from eviction

Sheriff’s Department resumed regular enforcement this week for the first time since March

Under stay-at-home orders effective today in San Francisco, outdoor dining is not allowed, and there are new limits regarding the number of people that can be indoors at essential businesses. <ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bay Area counties to shut down outdoor dining, non-essential businesses

Regional stay-at-home order to take effect Sunday, sooner than statewide order announced Thursday

Former Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant received his 2017-18 Championship ring at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Oct. 16, 2018. Durant, now playing with the Brooklyn Nets, will play against his former team at Chase Center in February. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Kevin Durant to face former teammates at Chase Center in February

Schedule released Friday calls for Warriors to play Christmas and New Year’s Day games

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert’s (31) return from injury last week was key for the team’s offense. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
49ers fighting for final NFC wild-card spot in Monday’s game against the Bills

Bills at 49ers When: Monday, 5:15 p.m. Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale,… Continue reading

The Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 recording is the 20-song “CYR.” (Courtesy photo)
Billy Corgan continues to confound expectations

Smashing Pumpkins release retro-sounding ‘CYR’

Most Read