Monday, February 16, 2015

SFPD to Enforce No Skateboarding on Sidewalks Law

Mike and I live about three blocks away from the city-own skater park on Stevenson and Duboce, and while we're glad to see that lot under the freeway transformed into a public space from a parking lot we're confronted daily with problem skateboarders.

I wrote to Capt. Dan Perea, the commanding officer of the Mission police station and Rachel Gordon, the public info officer for the Department of Public Works, about skaters barreling down Duboce Street's hilly sidewalks, weaving in and out among Valencia Street's pedestrian-crowded and narrow sidewalks, or going against traffic in the bicycle lanes of the Valencia corridor.

The SFPD and DPW were asked to address our worries by enforcing the law prohibiting skateboarding on sidewalks and erecting signs reminding the skater community of this law, and to respect the safety concerns of everyone who uses the streets and sidewalks.

Here's Perea's response:

"Thank you for your email. Officers have been informed of your concern regarding the activity of individuals riding skateboards on the sidewalk and in the wrong direction in lanes designated for bicycles. These lanes are designed for directed one-way traffic flow and enforcement efforts will be undertaken." 

This is Gordon's reply:

"I have already made inquiries regarding the process for putting up signs. I will get back to you have I get the information, and then we can decide how to proceed."

Thanks, SFPD and DPW, for moving on out request!

We reached out to Sup. Jane Kim's office because the Stevenson Street skate park is in her district and her aide Sunny Angulo requested we come to a neighborhood meeting in March, where skater representatives might be present. Since we can't make that meeting, we asked for the contact info of the reps and were told they don't want it given out.

An email addressed to the skater reps with whom Kim's office interacts was sent to Angulo, with a request that she forward it to the reps because we'd be more than happy to sit down with them and discuss our safety issues.  I'll follow with Kim's office about all of this and see what assistance they can give us now that the SFPD and DPW are taking action.

With San Francisco's public spaces, especially in the Mission, becoming more dense with our growing population of new residents moving into recently completed condos, more cars and bikes on the streets, increasing numbers of tourists and party-goers activating the Mission and Duboce neighborhood, we all need to work together to craft policies and develop a street culture that keeps everyone safe from injuries and respects the needs of all users of public streets.

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