S.F. Skatepark Master Plan 2006

This document was created by the sf skateboard task force  between 2003 and 2006, sponsored by then supervisor gavin newsom.Tthe results of this study has been the building blocks of the current SFSA. You can download the document or read the full text below. this document can be very useful to other skate associations around the country.




1.    The Skateboarding Problem

In the past ten years, San Francisco has done little to provide any public recreational facilities or programs to the skate boarding population of the city. In 2000 the construction of a Crocker Amazon/McLaren Skateboarding Park was completed – perhaps, the first municipal skateboarding park in San Francisco, if not counting the forsaken 1970s Hilltop Park Bowl. The Crocker Park was a major breakthrough for skateboarding in the city’s sporting scene, and it is currently used to a great extent. But its remote location and rather mediocre design often trigger criticism among skateboarders who make the best of their experience, with limited supervision from the Recreation and Park Department’s dedicated staff. The skateboarding community noted the lack of state-of-the-art facilities in the city and asked the city officials for change.

The skateboarding problem is not only about facility shortage, but also about the restrictive legal environment. Skateboard use, as transportation, on the streets and sidewalks of the city is rampant. While current law only permits skateboard use on residential sidewalks between dawn and dusk, real usage is going on nearly around the clock, on sidewalks and streets, in both residential and busy business districts. Riders are subject to citation by the Police Department officers and confiscation of skateboards. The reality is that few offenders are cited, as this activity is a low priority for the Police Department. There is no body of statistics to indicate the degree of any potential problems resulting from illegal use on streets and sidewalks. The skateboarding community identified the need for more skater-friendly regulations.

Another significant issue is the lack of public advocacy to promote skateboarding as a positive, healthy, challenging, and socially exciting sport, available to all age and gender groups of any skill level and learning ambition.

In response to these pressing concerns, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors led by then Supervisor Gavin Newsom established a San Francisco Skateboarding Task Force in the fall of 2002. In February 2003, the Board and the San Francisco Youth Commission appointed 13 members to the fifteen-member advisory panel. The first meeting of the new Task Force was held in March of 2003.

2.    Skateboarding Task Force and Its Purpose

The purpose of the Skateboarding Task Force is to advise the Board of Supervisors and city agencies on how to better serve the needs of the skateboarding community. The enabling legislation details ten specific areas for study by the Task Force. While these and other areas are being reviewed for recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, the Task Force organizes its activities in three strategic directions:

•    Regulation Strategy: A thorough review of the rules and regulations governing skateboard use as both a recreational activity and a means of transportation;

•    Facilities Strategy: A study of and plan for increasing the venues for recreational skateboard use throughout San Francisco, with recommendations on state-of-the-art facilities throughout the city at all levels of the sport; and

•    Advocacy Strategy: Advocacy of programs and facilities construction to both make more facilities available in the city as well as programs from public and private agencies to educate and develop responsible skateboard users in all aspects of use. That advocacy will also take the form of participation in forums and political dialogue to advance the interests of the skateboarding community.

•    See Appendix D for the enabling language of the Skateboard Task Force by the Board of Supervisors

3.    A Star Vision for Skateboarding Parks

The Skateboarding Task Force believes that the best way to serve the city’s skating population is to provide a network of at least five world-class facilities for recreational use throughout the city. A series of five parks located in a star pattern, and one in the middle of the city, would make it possible for users to easily get to a park within at least two miles of their home. Furthermore, recreational programs providing both activities and supervision, like those conducted at public swimming pools, will make the parks both attractive and interesting. The Task Force also hopes that, through volunteer leadership development training, young participants in these programs will obtain strong, constructive alternatives to other lifestyle choices available to idle youths.

4.    Skateboarding Community

Who rides a skateboard? According to a national standard, about 11 to 18 percent of the total city population could potentially skateboard which amount to about 85,000 to 140,000 people, maximum (provided by Leon Younger and Pros). That number can be reduced by considering the number of young people who are either too young to use a skateboard, or by gender are not likely to use a skateboard.

Children and Teens

This pie chart shows that about 15% of San Francisco residents are children and teens. Approximately 6% of them are teens between ages 11 and 18, and about 9% – are children 10 years old and younger. The likelihood of children being skateboarders (among the city’s youth population) is about half among children 1 to 10, and about 1/3 of the teens. Skateboard usage is about 95% male, and of all ethnic backgrounds.

The Figure below shows that the distribution of the children and teen population by supervisorial district. These electorate districts are delineated to divide the city into sections, having roughly the same number of people living within each one. However, the number of children and teens varies from district to district:

•    District 10 has the largest number of children and teens as compared citywide.
•    Districts 9, 10 and 11 include the first largest concentration of children and teens.
•    Districts 1, 4 and 7 include the second largest concentration of children and teens.

Source: 2000 US Census, SF1 Data Set.

From this data, our estimate is that there are approximately 25,000 skateboard users in  San Francisco. Those not included in the chart below are adults who skate on an occasional or regular basis.

District    Children    Skaters    Teens    Skaters
1    5465    451    4798    1200
2    4119    340    2072    518
3    3720    307    2708    677
4    6753    557    5609    1402
5    4284    353    2909    727
6    4611    380    3143    786
7    6591    544    5543    1386
8    4047    334    2200    550
9    8738    721    5863    1466
10    11276    930    8023    2006
11    9286    766    6864    1716
Totals    68890    5683    49732    12433    18116    Young Skaters

Assumes 25% of population is old enough, and 1/3 of that group skates regularly
Assumes 50% of population has an interest (predom. Male) and 45% skate regularly

The enclosed map also shows where most of San Francisco’s children and teens live according to 2000 US Census population counts. Each dot represents 25 children or teens per census block. Higher demographic counts are within several spatial clusters or groupings of supervisorial districts and neighborhoods. It is easier to visualize these areas as “triangle,” “circle,” “ellipse”:

•    Triangle –     Supervisorial districts 9, 10, and 11
Mission, Oceanview, Excelsior, Crocker Amazon, Bayview, and Visitacion Valley

About 42% of all San Francisco’s children and teens live in Districts 9, 10 and 11 combined. These districts form the first largest spatial cluster of children and teens in the city. This cluster is approximately in the shape of a triangle, with the top in North Mission and with the base in Crocker Amazon and Visitacion Valley. It includes Oceanview, Excelsior, Portola, and Bay View neighborhoods.

•    Circle –     Supervisorial districts 1 , 4, and 7
Primarily Richmond and Sunset but also Sunnyside, Ingleside and Park Merced

About 29% of all city children and teens are in Districts 1, 4 and 7 combined – the second largest spatial concentration of youth in the city, circumscribing all Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods, as well as the neighborhoods bordering Sunset to the east and to the south.

•    Ellipse –     Western Addition, Tenderloin, and North Beach/Telegraph Hill

The third largest concentration of children and teens is found in Western Addition, Tenderloin, and North Beach/Telegraph Hill neighborhoods, although the supervisorial districts accommodating these neighborhoods show no outstanding youth statistics on the citywide scale.

The described areas are the priority and high-need service areas. This means that the city could prioritize the provision of skateboarding recreational opportunities in these areas.


As its first challenge, the Task Force has immediately reviewed the existing skateboarding regulations. This effort culminated in the proposed policy recommendations to Municipal Traffic Code, Section 100. The Task Force would like to see their recommendations implemented for the benefit of a more congenial legal environment for the skating citizenry.

1.    Regulatory Background

The city regulations covering skateboarding are primarily contained in Municipal Traffic Code, Section 100. Other entities such as the San Francisco Unified School District, the Port Authority, and so on, do or may have their own body of rules governing the activity on their grounds. The State of California, in addition, has defined skateboarding as a hazardous activity, mandating certain safety equipment be worn while engaged in the sport in a legitimate venue. That hazardous status and other definitions from the State limit the latitude of suggested changes that can be made by the San Francisco Skateboard Taskforce to the regulations at the city and county level.

The State of California defines skateboarders as pedestrians and thus restricts their activities to sidewalks, along public thoroughfares. How they are regulated on those walkways is left to the discretion of the cities and counties of California. State law also defines safety equipment required when skating in a public skateboard park (i.e. helmets and pads). This is done to absolve cities and counties from liability claims most of the general use of such sites.  It is generally accepted that making changes in State law with regard to skateboards is a difficult undertaking.

Where possible, regulations should reflect a more permissive policy toward skateboarders. That is because underlying all uses of skateboards is the assumption that the rider knows the risks associated with his actions along with the responsibilities of his conduct. It is also the responsibility of the City and County of San Francisco to adhere to California law, which prohibits the use of a skateboard on a public roadway, as skateboards are defined as “pedestrian” or “toy” devices. The result is that skateboarders assume the responsibility for their own safety, especially when they violate the law. Therefore, the Skateboarding  Task Force has recommended changes to MTC 100 in the City and County of San Francisco to reflect a more permissive attitude than the existing ordinance in place up to, and through 2003.

2.    Task Force Review of Existing Regulations

The Taskforce Regulations Committee has studied the Municipal Traffic Code (MTC) 100, as well as similar statutes in other cities. When compared to other locales both in and out of California, San Francisco has the most restrictive code (as of January, 2004) to be found. Likewise, old and expired language cluttered the language of the code making it difficult to understand what is current and what is dated.

3.    Regulatory Policy Recommendations

The efforts of the Regulations Committee focused on improving the skating environment in San Francisco as well as simplifying the structure of MTC 100, for a more clear comprehension of the intent of the ordinance. Too, the revisions for skateboarding refrain from impacting regulations in regard to other “toy” devices and bicycles. Thus, the following changes are recommended to the Board of Supervisors:

➢    Skateboard riding be legal day or night, with the proviso that riders wear certain reflective or illuminative gear to make themselves visible in the dark,

➢    Skateboard use continues to be restricted to residential sidewalk use during “normal business hours,” and expanded to business district use during non-business hours,

➢    Education about MTC 100 and skateboard safety in general be actively undertaken by both the City, the SFUSD, merchants engaged in selling skateboard gear and promoting the sport through events and demonstrations.

With regard to other jurisdictions, such as the SFUSD, the Taskforce recommends no specific changes to current practices or policies with regard to skateboarding. The current policies of other City agencies and political districts with regard to individual skaters do not seem to interfere with those skaters for the most part, or are in place to limit the activity for the sake of minimizing physical damage to concrete or other fixtures. Pushing for increased access or more detailed policy definitions may also raise the possibility that greater restrictions will be placed on skateboarders. Unless there is compelling reason to make changes in policy, the Taskforce recommends that no changes be implemented toward skateboarding by other city agencies.

The Committee also felt that attempts to modify California law through actions of the legislature would not likely succeed and would not be worth the effort given such a low probability of success.


State of Skateboarding Facilities Today

Crocker Amazon/McLaren Skateboarding Park. The Recreation and Park Department operates a single well-known facility at the Crocker Amazon/McLaren Park – a rather isolated facility in the southeast built in 2000 with no easy public transportation access for the youth. This facility is located in a High Need Area for recreation.

Hilltop Park Bowl. This older skateboarding saucer was built in the 1970s by the Recreation and Park Department. This facility is even less challenging than the Crocker Park and is equally difficult to access. Indeed, it is barely known to the skating community. It is located in a High Need Area for recreation in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.

Potrero del Sol Skateboarding Park (future). The Capital Improvement Division of the Recreation and Park Department is currently planning for a new skateboarding park which will be located in the Mission – a High Need Area for recreation.

The Mills/YMCA Skateboarding Parks, Piers 27-31 (future). The next one on the horizon is the Pier 27/31 project, approved by the Port Commission and sponsored by the Mills Group and the YMCA. Two proposed parks – one private (requiring membership in the YMCA) and one public – will come on-line in about 3 years or in year 2006. This facility could become a citywide destination, and it could service the youth in Tenderloin/SoMa and Chinatown/North Beach neighborhoods

Clearly not enough…(rework the text). Many public buildings and private plazas are attractive to skateboard users for their jumps, ledges and slides. Their unique architectural features offer challenges not available in any skate park. This has resulted in damage to concrete and marbled surfaces (along the edges, primarily) that are expensive to repair. Recent developments in anti-skateboard thinking has caused deployment of stainless steel “edge breakers” which impose a severe irregularity to a long edge, thus driving away skateboard users. While this has helped preserve facades and contain expenses, it cannot be used in all situations. Signage exists in many locations throughout the City to indicate the prohibition of skateboarding on sidewalks and other places, with some effectiveness. Police foot patrols are sometimes deployed to address problem areas identified through citizen complaints. Skateboards continue to be used as transportation throughout the city, illegally as often as legally. It is not clear that offering more recreational skateboard venues would diminish the use of skateboards on the streets. The skateboarding community desires to continue to practice the sport both in parks and as a means of transportation. Their hope is to get along with non-skaters in a harmonious manner.

Placement of Future Skateboarding Parks

The Skateboard Task Force believes that the best way to serve the City’s skating population is to provide a network of at least five world-class facilities for recreational use throughout the city. These locations would of necessity serve the users but be fenced for safety considerations, and supervised during high-use hours.

Essential to the success of this vision are elements such as good public transportation access, safe cross-walk signage and timing and adequate access for effective patrolling by the San Francisco Police Department and other emergency personnel. This plan will detail the site selection criteria in a separate section.

In addition, the Skateboard Task Force also expects that additional smaller venues of a lower skill level be constructed in still more neighborhood parks throughout the city. This addresses the needs of youngsters to learn to skate in a safe and rewarding manner as they develop their new abilities. Thus, over time, those growing skills can be further enhanced at the larger, more challenging sites mentioned above.

At all of these venues, the City can employ both signage and instruction sessions to educate skateboard users in the proper and legal use of a skateboard. It is also expected that education will be delivered through merchants who sell skateboard equipment, as well as through school programs, and other city departments. Such signage can be developed with the assistance of members of the Skateboard Task Force. In addition, the City of San Francisco should periodically engage in follow-up surveys of users and communities to help gauge the effectiveness of the education efforts, as well as the attractiveness and effectiveness of the parks.

Guidelines for Evaluating Skateboarding Parks

The Skateboarding Task Force promotes the construction of at least 5 major skateboarding facilities throughout the city, so that prospective skateboarders can reach these sites within about two miles of their home. The facilities will have a full range of skill levels and features that make them desirable locations for skateboarding. They will be in proportion to the size of a city park or recreational facility they are located in. They will attempt to adequately serve the sport’s population demographics in the surrounding neighborhoods.

I.  Guidelines for Evaluation of Skateboarding Park Sites

Location. Assess location of a potential skateboarding facility relative to the location of existing facilities. Consider the size and design of existing facilities, for example, if they function as large skateboarding parks or just mini plazas. Evaluate the need for a certain size and design. If a new facility is proposed on the city park land, consider how it will fit into the overall park scale and design, and whether this city park is a regional or neighborhood destination.
Citywide demographics. Consider citywide demographics to determine population densities and high-need service areas for locating new facilities.
Availability of public/private lands and funding could expedite the public process for locating, designing, and building skateboarding parks.

Children and youth. Prioritize high-need service areas for children and youth recreation based on citywide demographics, in other words, focus on the neighborhoods where skateboarding opportunities for children and youth are currently missing or insufficient.
Skateboarders of all ages. Design facilities for skateboarders of all ages, especially for those who are already present in the area and ready to participate in designing new skateboarding parks.
Schools, youth clubs, skateboarding social groups. Consider the presence of schools, youth clubs, and skateboarding social groups in close vicinity. They are likely to engage in planning and design for a skateboarding park and adopt it then.

Public transit. New skateboarding parks should be located near public transit, such as MUNI bus routes and BART stations.
Pedestrian access and safety.  Skateboarders should be able to cross streets in a safely manner, therefore pedestrian crosswalks, lights, and signs should be available.
Bike lanes are highly desirable and should be promoted in planning and design.
Police and park patrol in close vicinity could increase the safety of skateboarders.
Accessibility for the disabled should be provided if not available.

Community values. When planning a skateboarding facility on the city park land, consider what the community surrounding a proposed site values in their park and be maximally respectful of these values. For example, the community may wish to preserve a neighborhood scale of their park or existing trees. Compromises could be reached through positive design solutions.
Possible impacts. Devise strategies to ameliorate possible impacts, such as noise, excessive lighting, or garbage. Evaluate the condition of existing amenities on site.
Topography, soils, drainage, environmental concerns should be considered.
Compatibility with adjacent land uses, such as residential, commercial, agricultural, educational, landmarks/icons, or recreational, should be considered.
Park visibility and public safety are important factors.
Assess the potential to improve existing facilities.

These amenities are very important to skateboarders:
Garbage cans
Drinking fountains
Telephone or place of refuge
Proximity to concession and food/drink vendors
Map of public transit routes and stops.
Assess the potential to improve existing amenities.

II. Design Considerations for Skateboarding Parks

Site selection for skateboarding parks may also include smaller facilities with fewer or less challenging skating options, which are aimed at beginner- and middle-level skating skills. These facilities are usually less than 3500 square feet in size. They will be placed in smaller neighborhood parks, convenient for the parents to take their children for skateboarding practice. The Skateboarding Task Force envisions skateboarding parks for all age groups and skill levels, with the design elements promoting unique challenge, public safety, and spectator fun.

Scale matters: regional, district-wide, neighborhood-wide, or sub-neighborhood-wide.
Style matters: ramp, street, or hybrid.
Complexity matters: Is it a large skateboarding park, a skating plaza, or temporary portable ramps?
State-of-the-art or cutting-edge design elements provide fun and challenge.
Design elements for specific skill levels should be considered.
Design elements ensuring safety should be highly considered.
Viewing or spectator seating area, accessible to the disabled community, should be provided. Consider partial shading of this area by trees.
Existing landscape and vegetation matter. Maximize the ability of a proposed site to integrate with existing landscape and vegetation.
Bike racks are important.
Appropriate signage.
Area map with public transit routes/stops and bicycle lanes.
Community art. Possibly an area for temporary art installations.
Code of conduct posted.

III. Public Outreach and Involvement Principles

The Skateboarding Task Force will continue to be an advisory group to city agencies and other organizations who promote skateboarding opportunities through public advocacy, facility planning and construction, as well as programming. The Task Force will be an active participant in community outreach efforts to build consensus aimed at improving the state of skateboarding in San Francisco.

Skateboarding Task Force shall have full involvement in all aspects of planning, design, and construction oversight of proposed skateboarding facilities in San Francisco.
Align with local advocacy groups in proposed area.
Hold community meetings and forums to build support and involvement. Have community leaders assist with community questions.
Invite guest speakers, both designers and users, of well-designed skateboarding parks to community meetings.
Have digital slide shows of existing skateboarding parks, or arrange site tours of well-designed skateboarding parks when possible.
Help distribute community questionnaires about design preferences.
1.    Policy Recommendations Regarding Facilities:

a.    Land Resources

The Skateboard Taskforce believes all possible open land available in the city should be considered as possible for use by skateboarders in creating regional or neighborhood parks. It is also best if these skateboard venues are available to skaters with no admission fees. However, the Taskforce also encourages entrepreneurial efforts that seek to provide facilities, either indoors or outdoors. While an admission fee may be required for such efforts, good business practices will seek to keep any such fees to a minimum.

It is obvious that the easiest and quickest way to construct skateboard parks in San Francisco is with the use of land under the domain of the Recreation and Park Department. Ownership issues, land acquisition costs and such are removed as possible obstacles from any project to build a skating facility. There are many locations throughout the city that might serve as candidates that are in the inventory of Rec and Park. As the Taskforce asses possible sites, public park lands will be the first choice of candidate locations.

Individual parcels of private land may also be recommended. As in the case of the Mills Group project on the waterfront, private facilities are encouraged. The Taskforce recognizes that getting through additional layers of the process for converting land to skateboard use, such as the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, posses additional costs, time and increases in risk for taking a project to completion. Such risk certainly reduces the attractiveness of any location not already owned by the City.

b.    Financing Strategies

The primary source of funding for facilities constructed on public lands must naturally come from the City and County of San Francisco. Whether those monies come from the general fund, or from public bond funds for capital construction matters not to the Taskforce. We are more concerned about the goal of building safe, attractive skating sites. In order to serve the youth of the city, politicians and department heads should be flexible and creative to meet that goal.

The Taskforce also encourages non-government organizations, such as the Trust for Public Lands or Friends of Rec and Park, to be involved in raising the necessary capital need for construction projects for skateboarders. Budget cycles, budget shortfalls and such dictate that a prudent approach to funding involve the public sector, NGOs and private contribution. The objective in accumulating the funds for these sites should be to serve the community of San Francisco skateboarders.

Some of the sources for financing that can be examined for park development are:
−    Bond funds for Rec & Park
−    School Bond issues
−    Muni Bond projects aimed at Muni parks
−    DPW projects
−    Port of San Francisco land development funding
−    Open Space funding efforts
−    The Redevelopment Agency

Likewise, the Skateboard Taskforce also encourages both city employees and volunteers to be used in providing staffing and programs for skateboard facilities. One paid staffer at a central skating venue can direct quite a large network of young volunteers to both build skating skills along with leadership abilities and development programs for young skaters. In a manner similar to public swimming pool sites, teens can be recruited to participate in such programs to direct and supervise the activities of other skaters. They might also carry programs to smaller neighborhood skate parks to teach entry level skateboarders more sophisticated skills. Templates for such youth development programs can be seen in organizations such as the YMCA, Boys Clubs, etc.

c.    Inter-Jurisdictional Coordination

In order to provide quality skating venues in San Francisco, many resources must be available. The most fundamental resource needed is the land to place a skating park, of any size. Additionally, financial support for construction and operation must be identified, as well as other donors of materials, designs and supporting activities. In addition to public funding and staffing with City employees, the Taskforce encourages the participation of private sector dollars toward the construction of skating facilities. Volunteer supervision and program direction can originate with both the public and private sector.

➢    Establish a multi-jurisdictional COMMITTEE FOR LOCATING SKATEBOARDING PARKS, which will include members of the Skateboarding Task Force, representatives from Recreation and Parks, MUNI, Port, Police, Redevelopment Agency, City Planning, YMCA, etc.

d.    Public/Private Partnerships
e.    Programming
f.    Maintenance
g.    Post-Design Evaluation


1.    Advocacy Background

The public’s general perception of skateboarders is they are a scruffy looking lot, and by association of clothing styles, must also therefore be dealing in drugs and other petty criminal activities. It has not been easy to dispel this miss-applied stereotype.  Too, the activity itself is seen as being noisy and disturbing to quite residential locations, with boards being flipped and bounced about. The resonance of up to three feet of plywood can be heard easily for over a hundred yards. Thus, public resistance to new venues near any homes or businesses is generally expected. A fierce battle usually accompanies any discussion of making a site into a skateboard usable location. (Who has done anything before Task Force…)

2.    Task Force Advocacy Work

Insert text from the annual report by Ted…
The third objective of the San Francisco Skateboard Taskforce is to be an advocate for skateboarding, skateboarders and increasing skateboard venues. The members of the Taskforce, while it is enabled under the Board of Supervisors, will actively seek opportunities to inform the public of:

Current policy
Skating opportunities
Support for increased skateboard usage
Best and safe practices for skateboard riders in the city
Design Consultant for site implementation

Additionally, the Taskforce will advocate for additional skating venues in both large skate parks as well as smaller scale skating in neighborhoods, primarily in parks. Finally, the Taskforce will seek to change the regulation of the sport when it is warranted under the circumstances of any particular need. Generally, the Taskforce supports increased usage of skateboarding for both sport and transportation if that can be accomplished in a safe and non-destructive manner. (See Appendix C for the results of the activities by year of the Task Force.)

3.    Advocacy Policy Recommendations

➢    SKATEBOARDING TASK FORCE shall have full involvement in all aspects of planning, design, and construction oversight of proposed skateboarding facilities in San Francisco.
Align with local advocacy groups in proposed area.
Hold community meetings and forums to build support and involvement. Have community leaders assist with community questions.
Invite guest speakers, both designers and users, of well-designed skateboarding parks to community meetings.
Have digital slide shows of existing skateboarding parks, or arrange site tours of well-designed skateboarding parks when possible.
Help distribute community questionnaires about design preferences.
Regulatory oversight
Participation in public events promoting recreation
Hand-on experience with design elements that work…

The Task Force further recommends that the City

➢    Host a SKATEBOARDING DAY, a symposium of city and national skateboarding representatives, on different skateboarding issues, such as Public Education, Fundraising and Donors, Public/Private Partnerships, Best Design Practices, and Maintenance & Programming.
➢    Involve NON-PROFIT GROUPS in promotion of skateboarding activities, for example, skateboarding leadership programs, or non-profits focusing on fundraising and park design and implementation.
➢    Develop a SKATEBOARDING WEB SITE – Skateboarding Portal of in San Francisco – for informational, educational, and fundraising purposes.
➢    Identify skateboarding stakeholders and establish a NETWORK OF CONTACTS, and possibly a newsletter via e-mail.
➢    Develop Web-based ongoing SKATEBOADER AND PARENT SURVEYS and other feedback mechanisms.


The Skateboard Task Force hopes to complete its work in about three years, and hopes to have established more than one new skating venue while also gaining passage of a legislation package to revamp the skateboard laws of the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, the Port of San Francisco, and other political bodies which regulate the use of their properties for leisure use. The Task Force also expects that additional venues of various sizes to be in the planning process for implementation within three years, to lead to a chain of skateboard parks readily available to young San Franciscans. Such a construction plan will also continue to make the city attractive to young people everywhere as a desirable activity to pursue while vacationing in San Francisco…

Matrix of when we think things should be accomplished.

•    BOS reviews the Master Plan recommendations in year 2004.
•    Implementation of MTC 100 Ordinance in year 2004.
•    Establish a multi-jurisdictional Committee for Locating Skateboarding Parks in 2004.
•    Host Skateboarding Day in year 2005.
•    Beginning of construction of Potrero del Sol in 2005 – first municipal skateboarding park planned and designed in collaboration of the Task Force.



Insert here the documents that Adam prepared

City of Portland, Oregon

•    Portland voters approved in November 2002 “Parks and Recreation Operating Levy,” which provides money to plan and build skateparks.
•    Portland Parks and Recreation hosted a Skatepark Discussion Day in 2003 dedicated to a variety of topics, including Public Education, Park Siting, Design & Implementation, Maintenance, and Fundraising.
•    The city solicited community input via Web site surveys – General Skatepark Survey and Parents Skatepark Survey. Results available on Web site.
•    Formed Parks and Recreation Siting Committee to evaluate potential sites.
•    Placed Glossary of Skateboarding terms on Web site.
•    Provided Web link to Skatepart.org Web site – a resource for the skatepark process.
•    Partnered with Skaters for Portland Skateparks is non-profit skateboard park advocacy organization advocating the creation of free, cement, municipal skateparks designed and constructed by skaters in Portland, Oregon. (The organization’s Web site says upfront, 193 Baseball Fields, 0 Municipal Skateparks. Today more kids skateboard than play baseball…)

City of Seattle, Washington

•    Seattle Parks and Recreation adopted “Skateboard Park Policy” in 2003, stipulating general policy directions, siting criteria, skateboard park design and construction guidelines, and skateboard park maintenance and operations policies.

APPENDIX B. Text of Reworked MTC 100 Ordinance (As proposed).


[Regulating Skateboard Riders]

Ordinance amending the San Francisco Traffic Code by amending section 100 (Ord. No. 300 –98) so that it no longer applies to skateboard riders; repealing a second section 100 (Ord. No. 385-98); repealing sections 100.1 through 100.6, which established a pilot program regulating roller and in-line skaters that has now expired; and adding a new section 100.1, regulating the riding of skateboards in San Francisco.

Existing Law

1.    The San Francisco Traffic Code erroneously contains two sections 100 regulating the riding of coasters, skateboards, toy vehicles and similar devices.  These two sections contain many identical provisions.

2.    Traffic Code sections 100.1 through 100.6 established a pilot program regulating roller and in-line skaters that has now expired.  Section 100.6 provides that upon the expiration of the pilot program, the provisions of section 100 are to apply to roller and in-line skates.

Amendments to Current Law

The proposed ordinance makes the following amendments:

1.    Amends the first Traffic Code section 100 (Ord. No. 300-98) to apply to roller or in-line skates, but not skateboards, and to include a penalty provision, which is contained in the second section 100.

2.    Repeals the second, duplicative, Traffic Code section 100.

3.    Repeals Traffic Code sections 100.1 through 100.6, relating to the expired pilot program.

4.    Adds a new Traffic Code section 100.1 regulating the riding of skateboards in San Francisco, which:

a.)    Prohibits the riding of skateboards upon roadways, as required by state law;

b.)    Prohibits the riding of skateboards upon any sidewalk in a business district during the business hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.;

c.)    Prohibits the riding of skateboards after dark without protective nightgear;

d.)    Establishes penalties;

e.)    And requires the Youth Commission, subject to the availability of funds, to coordinate informational activities regarding this ordinance.

Background Information

The Skateboarding Task Force recommends these amendments.

APPENDIX C. Annual Reports of the Skateboarding Task Force.


San Francisco Skateboard Task Force Annual Report

The Board of Supervisors appointed the Skateboard Task Force as a result of Supervisor Newsom’s legislation at the end of 2002. The Task Force first met in February of 2003, and organized itself in March. Ted Loewenberg was elected Chairman, and Jesse Arreguin was elected Vice-Chairman. It now meets on the second Wednesday of the month in room 278 of City Hall. It is most ably assisted by Nicole Derse, staff to the Youth Commission. Without her help, it would be a struggle for the Task Force to do as much as it has.

Organization of the Task Force

The full Task Force meets on a monthly basis. It quickly became apparent that some of the detailed work and conversation of the group had to be delegated to committees. Those committees parallel the objectives of the Task Force: to consider revisions to the regulations governing skateboarding in San Francisco, to promote the building and maintenance of world-class skateboard venues in the city, and to be public advocates for safe and enjoyable skateboard experiences in San Francisco.

The committees formed are:
1.    The Facilities Committee

This group has the task of identifying possible skateboard park venues, defining a set of criteria for evaluating possible venues, and making recommendations of possible venues based on the score through the criteria.

2.    The Regulations Committee

This group works with the City Attorney’s office and the Board’s Legislative Analyst office, to understand the current regulations and practices regarding skateboard use in the city. It has also examined other cities’ legislation to compare to San Francisco’s, and is preparing a recommendation to revise the San Francisco Municipal Traffic Code pertaining to skateboarding.

3.    The Master Plan Committee

This group is attempting to define both a vision for skateboard recreation in San Francisco and to document the issues and processes associated with skateboarding. By creating a document that points to the improved future of skateboarding in the city, and the assumptions that is based upon, the Task Force hopes to make it clear to the Board of Supervisors and other city agencies why and how this direction was established. In addition, the Master Plan for Skateboarding will also encompass the processes of site selection, budgeting, planning and advocacy that the Task Force is already begun to tackle. As any resident or official of San Francisco has a need to understand the Task Force’s work, it will be clearly documented and available.

Other committees may be formed as necessary.

Activities and Accomplishments of the Task Force

The Task Force has been successful in a number of tasks in its first year of operation. It has worked with Recreation and Park to identify new skateboarding venues, both public and private, participated with other city programs to promote awareness, safety and interest in skateboarding by youth, supported other efforts to deliver skateboard parks more quickly and at lower costs to the city, and endorsed events for skateboarders of all ages.

Potrero del Sol Park

The Skateboard Task Force was asked to comment on the suitability of building a skateboard venue in the Potrero del Sol park at Cesar Chavez and Potrero. Knowledgeable members of the Task Force visited the site and reviewed its suitability for recreational skateboard use. The full Task Force then made its positive recommendation to Rec and Park for locating a skating venue in the 4.5 acre park. Members of the Task Force then participated in the public meetings with the Rec and Park Commission and the Board of Supervisors to support this position and urge the project go ahead as planned.

In addition, members of the Task Force met with Planners from Rec and Park and private skateboard interests in an effort to help secure donated services and materials to help reduce costs for construction.

The Task Force also created and circulated a user survey of youth in the area to get a sense of needs for the Park. More surveys are being conducted citywide.

Pier 27 – 31

The Task Force listened to all the discussion concerning the contract of the Mills Group to develop the waterfront recreational site. The Task Force recommended that no changes be made to the terms of the Mills Group contract, as such changes would delay by several years the delivery of a new skateboard venue, (some free, some for-fee) on the waterfront. The Task Force felt this is not in the best interests of promoting skateboarding for San Francisco youth. The Task Force fully supports a skateboarding park within the Piers 27-31 project.

Other Parks and Venues

The Task Force has examined many sites in the city, primarily on lands owned by Rec and Park, as possible skateboard venues. The most promising of this group is Larsen Park (next to 19th Ave.) and the Horseshoe Pits in Golden Gate Park. Both would be excellent locations for skating parks, as determined by the vision defined by the Task Force and the initial criteria list that has been used by the Facilities Committee. The Task Force is working with Rec and Park to further explore these sites for possible action.

Strategic Vision

At the second meeting of the Task Force, the discussion about skateboard facilities in place or in plan in San Francisco suggested that there was concurrence on establishing a series of world-class skateboard parks throughout the city. By placing them, approximately, one in each of the four corners of the city and one in the center, skateboard users will have the ability to get to a park within about 2 miles. They will be able to take a bus to the site, use safe crosswalks across streets with substantial traffic and enjoy hours of recreational skating, either “street style” or “competition” style in a bowl.

The venues discussed above have been examined and supported for being part of this vision. Tentative sites for the locations of these parks are 1., Potrero del Sol, 2., Larsen Park, 3., Golden Gate Park Horseshoe Pits, 4., Pier 27-31, and 5., Crocker-Amazon. The Master Plan will fully document this vision. Other locations are still being reviewed.

Working Relationships

Through several meetings, the Task Force has established working relationships with several necessary City agencies as well as non-governmental groups that support recreational youth opportunities. As work progresses through this year, those relationships will be utilized to help meet the objectives of the Task Force.

The agencies of the City government with which the Task Force has been involved are:
•    Rec and Park
•    Youth Commission
•    City Attorney
•    Legislative Analyst of the Board of Supervisors
•    Board of Education
•    Muni
•    The Port Commission
•    Police Department

The NGOs involved are:
•    Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth
•    Friends of Rec and Park
•    Trust for Public Lands

Regulations Review

The Regulations Committee requested a review of other cities’ policies and practices regarding skateboard use. After discussing those different approaches, both within and outside of California, the Committee met with the City Attorney’s office to discuss the current language of the Municipal Traffic Code section governing skateboards. Subsequent discussions with the deputy City Attorney promoted new language to reduce the restrictions on skateboard use, recognizing that the current law did not deter “illegal” use in the street. New revisions to the code will shortly be sent to the Board of Supervisors for its action and hopeful passage.

Community Outreach

The Task Force endeavored to involve the community, especially youth, in all aspects of its work. It obtained demographic information about the city’s youth (where they are, their age groupings, etc.) and conducted surveys of youth attitudes about skateboarding. Participation in events such as Family Day (below) was also efforts to make city residents aware of the Task Force, and its objectives. It has also requested public participation in its regular meetings, which has resulted in as many as 15 different young people attending and offering some opinions on matters in front of the committee. The Task Force itself is comprised of a wide diversity of people and ages, with five youth members. The Task Force is at full membership as of December, 2003.

Family Day in Golden Gate Park

The Task Force participated in and supported the Family Day in the Park this past summer. One Task Force member coordinated a skateboard demonstration and use as part of the activities, and other members staffed an information table to increase awareness of the sport. Coleman Advocates for Youth sponsored and organized the day.

Neighborhood Skate Sites

Two Task Force members met with Rec and Park planners to review the possibility of utilizing a small corner of the Upper Noe Valley Rec Center for a skating venue. Advice was given to the neighborhood activist on both design for useable skating in the small space, and advice on how to implement a plan largely with donated funds if Rec and Park is willing to convert the un-used space to neighborhood children with a desire to learn skateboarding. The Task Force believes many neighborhood parks and playgrounds would offer young skaters an opportunity to learn the entry level skills of skateboarding in a safe, non-threatening and local setting. Skaters could then make greater use of the larger regional sites as their skills progress.

Task Force Membership

For most of the year, the Task Force operated with 13 members. Two original members have been replaced by other representatives from those organizations, the Board of Education and Rec and Park. In addition, the two vacant seats have also been filled. As of December, 2003 the Skateboard Task Force is fully staffed.


The Skateboard Task Force has accomplished a great deal in one year. The cost to the taxpayers in the City and County of San Francisco: $ 0 . Staff support to the Task Force comes from the Youth Commission, and the very able work of Nicole Derse. It has been the desire of the Task Force to come up with creative financing strategies to advance the deployment of skate parks throughout San Francisco. Meetings with numerous interested parties have been very productive to identifying contributions of work, materials and design, toward the implementation of skating facilities in Potrero del Sol, and other sites. The Task Force has worked with Rec and Park to utilize the Capital Improvements budget in the financial planning for the parks. We believe that creative financial arrangements and working with non-profit organizations will lead to faster and better results for San Francisco’s skateboard community. We look forward to continuing to work with Rec & Park as well as other public and private sources of funds in this spirit, while the City is under tough financial constraints.

Outlook for 2004

The Skateboard Task Force operates under the assumptions of our enabling legislation. The Skateboard Task Force will continue to focus its efforts on:

1.    A thorough review of the rules and regulations governing skateboard use;

2.    A study of, and plan for increasing the venues for recreational skateboard use; and

3.    Advocacy of programs and facilities for skateboarders.

The Skateboard Task Force hopes to complete its work in another two years, and hopes to have established more than one new skating venue while also gaining passage of a legislation package to revamp the skateboard laws of the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, the Port of San Francisco, and other political bodies which regulate the use of their properties for leisure use. The Task Force also expects that additional venues of various sizes to be in the planning process for implementation within three years, to lead to a chain of skateboard parks readily available to young San Franciscans. Such a construction plan will also continue to make the city attractive to young people everywhere as a desirable activity to pursue while vacationing in San Francisco.

In 2004, the Task Force hopes to:

1.    Have construction begin at Potrero del Sol for a new, state-of-the-art skateboard venue,
2.    See passage of new language for MTC 100, revising and improving the law regarding skateboard use,
3.    Begin the approval process for another skateboard venue at Larsen Park, to serve the youth of the Sunset area,
4.    Be instrumental to bringing together funding sources, contribution sources and City departments for building new skating venues,
5.    Deliver a Skateboard Master Plan, that will chart, as best possible, the direction for skateboarding’s future in San Francisco,
6.    Be an experienced consultant to City departments on all matters of skateboard use.


II. Duties.
The Task Force shall advise the Board of Supervisors, Recreation and Park Department, Police Department, San Francisco Unified School District, Port of San Francisco and Youth Commission regarding skateboarding policies, programs and activities in the City and County of the San Francisco.
The Task Force shall provide recommendations and advise on:
1.    The creation and renovation of future and existing public skating facilities within the City and County of San Francisco.
2.    Existing City laws regarding skateboarding, including Traffic Code Section 100.
3.    The creation of a temporary public skateboarding facility on Pier 24.
4.    The implementation of capital improvement and programmatic plans for skateboarding facilities and programs.
5.    A strategic plan for all City departments and the Board of Supervisors regarding skateboarding programs and activities.
6.    Increased efforts for greater public participation and communication regarding skateboarding programs and activities.
7.    Enforcement by the San Francisco Police Department of Traffic Code Section 100.
8.    Departmental budgets and funding for specific skateboarding based programs and activities, including the creation of public skating facilities.
9.    New programs and services that recognize skateboarding as a positive sport.
10.    All other skateboarding issues and activities as they arise in the City and County of San Francisco.


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