Howard/Steuart/Embarcadero Triange (ImageSource: MapJack.com)
While an adult playground is in the works for Parcel L over in Hayes Valley, apparently a few South Beach residents have approached the Port of San Francisco with the idea of converting the concrete triangle bounded by Howard, Steuart and The Embarcadero into a playground for kids.
Its current use? In the words of one reader who resides nearby, “it’s a landing spot for the homeless and the lady who feeds the pigeons…looks like the [YMCA] uses it during the summer to line up their charges for day camp. And, it’s always used as a port-a-potty lot for Bay to Breakers, and other sundry events [on that stretch of The Embarcadero].”
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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by EH

    “Playground for kids” to me means a place where adults aren’t allowed and that you have to get a buttload of permits and pay a bunch of fees to put your portapotties near (or pushes them into the street and that whole mess of approval).

  2. Posted by WH

    What’s in it for the Port?

  3. Posted by JustLooking

    Great idea! Car exhaust will come at you from two sides of the triangle (Howard to the north and Embarcardero to the east). Yep! That is where I want my kids to play – or not.

  4. Posted by jamie

    It is just an idea Rincon Hill neighbors are discussing right now … watch The Examiner for an article in the next few days.

  5. Posted by tipster (not really from the Mayor's Office)

    I’m from the mayor’s office, and we have had our eye on that spot as a play area from some time. However, rather than installing swings and such on that patch, for which there is no budget, we thought it would be ideal to turn the traffic lights in the photo into jungle gyms.
    Kids could scamper up the traffic lights and hang from the arm of the traffic light that extends over the street. We think this would be safer than putting them on the ground in that area for impatient Embarcadero drivers to drive over them.
    And much like the parklets, where we all pretend it’s as good a solution as a real park, this wouldn’t cost nearly as much as the installation of the real thing that other cities all over America seem to have no trouble doing right, but that we can’t do, except in a low-budget almost white-trash fashion, because we’re busy handing out money like candy to the homeless, muni drivers, electrician embezzlers, winter trips to Arizona resorts we can consider “boycotting”, etc.

  6. Posted by really?

    Good idea! The nearest playground at AT&T Park is lame for kids older than 2 and Victoria Manalo Draves Park at 7th? and Folsom is a stretch.

  7. Posted by Good uses

    Sounds like it is already put to good use. At least they don’t have people smoking crack and shooting up like they do in my SOMA west neighborhood.

  8. Posted by ex SF-er

    well done Jamie.
    I for one am glad to see positive neighborhood representation. The best of YIMBY in my opinion.
    the more people looking at the deficiencies of their neighborhood and suggesting improvements, the better.
    bravo.
    it’s surrounded by exhaust? where near here isn’t? I’d rather have my kids play in an exhaust ridden park than have them not play at all.

  9. Posted by noearch

    seriously? you’d rather have your kids playing in an “exhaust ridden park” than not playing at all.
    what a bunch of bs..and drama…and I don’t believe you at all that you really mean that.

  10. Posted by geoff the realtor

    Exhaust ridden? With open water vistas right behind and constant breeze? There are worse.

  11. Posted by Turin

    Exhaust? Not likely. The wind is almost always blowing through here so any exhaust isn’t going to accumulate.

  12. Posted by dahub

    i work right next door.
    how about a low-rise condo building?
    like 3 units.
    i’d buy.

  13. Posted by ex SF-er

    seriously? you’d rather have your kids playing in an “exhaust ridden park” than not playing at all. what a bunch of bs..and drama…and I don’t believe you at all that you really mean that.
    Get over yourself. I mean it 100%
    I would much rather have my children play in this triangle than not play.
    Obviously, I would much rather have my children play in a nice exhaust-free place. But if the choice is
    a) no playing
    b) play in this exhaust triangle
    I choose b.
    The drama isn’t my statement. the drama is JustLooking who makes it seem as though this triangle is attacked by exhaust, and you claiming that I’m dramatic to let my children play there.
    I grew up right in the TL, also a lot of exhaust there. where did we play? right near the street. am I glad I did it? yeah, better than sitting watching TV all day in the apartment.
    where are a lot of these parklets that SFers really enjoy? right near exhaust.
    the exhaust issue is not so serious that I would never let my children play near a source of it.

  14. Posted by all_about_re

    Exhaust is not the problem. Shopping carts, ‘lean-to’ tents, rancid odor, alcohol and refuge are.
    Flush these fine would-be taxpayers back to rehab–and then we are on our way to highest and best use.
    Do it now else cut my taxes.

  15. Posted by geoff the realtor

    ‘lean-to’ tents
    Unlikely, as this spot is pretty high profile for that type of SF homeless.

  16. Posted by Turin

    Never seen anything like that in this little triangle. It is rarely occupied even by folks just walking through. I wonder if some people commenting have ever even seen this spot.

  17. Posted by AsburyParkWest

    Exhaust?! BS… you live in a big city, get used to it. Millions of kids have grown in Manhattan playing sports on streets and playgrounds steps away from heavily-congested streets.

  18. Posted by ellbee

    Exhaust isn’t the problem, everyone not driving zero-emission cars is the problem.

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