Wednesday, September 28, 2011

(Not) the People's Park

San Francisco has finally figured out how to keep its parks from devolving into wastelands of urine-stunted grass and broken malt-liquor bottles: Never open them to the public.

That seems to be the strategy with Sue Bierman Park (once known as Ferry Park), the grassy enclave located next to Justin Herman Plaza.

The park has been under renovation since November, when the city began laying new walkways and sod. For months now, it's looked beautiful — with green grass, new trees and immaculate paths.  And yet, we've had to admire it through a chain-link fence.

According to the Recreation & Parks department, it was supposed to be opened in June. But there's no sign that anyone is going to take down the fence.

On Monday, someone finally took matters into their own hands.

I walked by the park that morning and discovered the fence had been pulled down.

By the end of the day, the fence was back up.

I understand the city's perspective. There's a homeless encampment next to Justin Herman Plaza, and when they do finally open Sue Bierman Park, its destruction will probably resemble a time-lapse film.

Still, parks are meant to be used, right?

UPDATE: I e-mailed the Parks department to see if there's an opening date.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: It's opening, folks. Click here for the latest.