Soma Skate Park Site

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use Committee next week, the formal designation of the two Caltrans parcels underneath the Central Freeway between Valencia and Otis Streets for use as the SoMa West Skate Park and Dog Play Area:


With designs first drafted by Newline Skateparks in 2009, and a lease for the parcels finally secured, construction on the skate park between Otis and Stevenson Streets, and a dog play area between Stevenson and Valencia, is finally slated to commence this May.


Originally designed to include basketball courts and a small children’s’ playground as well, in order to build a big enough area for dogs to run and play, the adjacent area set aside for the courts and playground will be used for parking City cars that will be displaced when the skate park is constructed rather than encroaching on the area for dogs.

In the words of the Department of Public Works: “It turns out that air quality concerns would have prevented a playground in that space anyway.” Apparently the Department isn’t as concerned for the skaters or dogs.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by drew

    It’s been my experience that most dogs HATE skateboards, especially the sound of them. Am I crazy or does this not sound like the best thought out pairing?

  2. Posted by gribble

    You are partially correct – dogs love to bite at skateboard wheels.

  3. Posted by Rob

    Great move for the neighborhood and the city.. esp as re-use for an area under the highway. Im happy to see this is finally moving forward.

  4. Posted by Anna

    Agree with drew, skateboards are the only thing that spook my dog, the noise from a block away is enough to send her running. Weird paring.

  5. Posted by Matteo

    Ditto….Dogs and skateboards is not a good mix! Back to the drawing room on this plan.

  6. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    Well, in the case of skater v dog, I know who I’m rooting for…

  7. Posted by guest

    … yeah, the skater!

  8. Posted by TJ

    The dog run and skate park aren’t on adjacent parcels- the skate park is across Stevenson street from the parcel where the dog park would be.
    What really turns my gears is the fact that the promised additional open space that was supposed to be adjacent to the dog park is being replaced by city parking. It’s so insanely hypocritical that the same “transit first, transit rich” politico gasbags that are forcing the citizenry off the streets with extended meters and capping parking spaces at new developments at sub 1:1 rates are totally fine with tanking promised open spaces for their own parking needs. That’s quite a pile of doggy crap they’re forcing us to swallow.

  9. Posted by hmmm

    I’d agree with you except for the fact that the parking is for the City’s car fleet/pool of work vehicles shared by many city agencies, not for employees’ own cars. There’s a big fundamental difference. I know for a fact that the City has gotten rid of a lot of department vehicles and moved to a more fully-shared fleet pool of fewer cars. These are for things like building inspectors who need to go all over the city visiting dozens of sites a day.

  10. Posted by Invented

    Loving a skate park here. Nice alternative to Potrero’s well designed skate park — but let’s hope this doesn’t attract the drug dealers and thieves which make Potrero a nerve-wracking place to be. (especially with a (then) 10 year old who liked to skate).

  11. Posted by TJ

    “These are for things like building inspectors who need to go all over the city visiting dozens of sites a day.”
    Many of the citizenry of SF are forced to make many trips per day as well. City employees should be forced to walk the walk. If it’s hard for them to carry out their days using their own transit system then I guess it’s time to improve that system.

  12. Posted by BobN

    Standing under a viaduct in the dust, grime, and noise. What a lovely dog park…

  13. Posted by hmmm

    “City employees should be forced to walk the walk. If it’s hard for them to carry out their days using their own transit system then I guess it’s time to improve that system.”
    I don’t think having a few dozen fleet vehicles for a workforce of thousands is inconsistent with the City’s Transit First policy or in any way hypocritical. You can’t seriously believe that the City should not have a single vehicle. You’re looking for controversy where there is none. You should also know that the few City workers who actually do drive city cars on the job still need to feed meters and follow all the same rules as everyone else. If a city employee gets a parking ticket while on the job they have to pay it themselves.

  14. Posted by Ssss

    Please clarify: Does this mean there will no longer be a parking lot here that is open to the public? (This is where I park.) (!)

  15. Posted by SocketSite

    Does this mean there will no longer be a parking lot here that is open to the public?
    That’s correct.

  16. Posted by sf

    Forget about dogs- we all know what kinds of people enjoy hanging out underneath freeway overpasses.

  17. Posted by Stucco_Sux

    In Paris they have ‘le Viaduc des Arts.’ In San Francisco we have to settle with ‘le skate parc des barks.’

  18. Posted by EH

    Correction: Poorly-trained dogs don’t like skateboards.

  19. Posted by sf

    In Paris the average man is 4 foot tall and they have like 4 skyscrapers, whats your pont?

  20. Posted by lol

    sf, you’re confusing France with Middle-Earth.

  21. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    lol, you were probably referencing the comment by Stucco_Sux because on socketsite, the name of the commenter comes after the comment, but sf is talking about present-day San Francisco.
    From The Chronicle last Fall, Fire fuels fear as homeless rebuild camp:

    …on Wednesday, a fire started by one of the reassembled camp’s inhabitants ignited a new sense of urgency among neighbors and officials for a long-term solution.

    The fire flared up in a camper’s homemade shelter at the southern end of the encampment, which sprawls beneath the Interstate 280 on-ramp, at about 7:15 a.m. and was quickly snuffed by firefighters. The edge of one adjacent shed was burned, the freeway concrete singed and the ramp closed briefly.

    The wide, block-long area beneath the freeway at Fifth and King streets provides the homeless with excellent cover from rain and public view and for years has been a popular place to pitch tents. The California Department of Transportation…had conventional wire fencing blocking off the area, but campers easily tore it down months ago and reportedly sold it to recyclers.

    Emphasis mine to highlight the connection to the phrase “underneath freeway overpasses” used in sf’s earlier comment.
    The “kinds of people” he’s taking about are the homeless untreated schizophrenics and derelict drug addicts.

  22. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    okay, I was referring to the comment at 6:28 PM, not the one at 9:02 AM, which I didn’t see. Apologies to lol.

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