May 24, 2012
On the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission in a special session today at 3PM, scheduled votes to clear the way for the renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields.
∙ Planning Commission Special Meeting: Beach Chalet Athletic Fields [sf-planning.org]
∙ Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Facility As Proposed [SocketSite]
First Published: May 24, 2012 6:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
This looks fantastic. I've played rugby on these fields, and I found it difficult to focus on the opposition as well as keep an eye out for various ruts and holes in the pitch that could have caused a serious injury.
Posted by: Fishchum at May 24, 2012 8:24 AM
It would be nice to have some stadium style seating along the boarders of at least one of the fields, you know, in case anyone wanted to watch the games being played. But this would be a great use of space and a pretty neat addition to the park.
Posted by: eddy at May 24, 2012 9:04 AM
Looks really nice!
(Although I am having a PTSD moment from when the kids were little and playing soccer. It gets cold out there on an early weekend morning.)
Posted by: kthnxybe at May 24, 2012 11:03 AM
Another example of how SF waste's taxpayers money.
This project comes complete with high rise stadium lights, in one of the last decent night sky wildlife areas left in SF. The project site is also within the Coastal zone and within the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission. The CCC has rejected these exact same types of developments, most recently at Malibu High School, exactly because of the long known well established night sky and wildlife disturbance that will result. Why would SF insist on including elements that will result in the project being denied by the CCC?
Some cities' can't be helped, and when it comes to abusing the coastal zone SF is number #1. Same thing happened last summer when the CCC rejected SF's 17-yr run of dumping illegal debris on the beach in front of the SF Zoo. These guys never learn!
Posted by: 4Oceans at May 24, 2012 11:27 AM
Oh yeah... and that EIR won't withstand even minimal scrutiny. Go ahead, open it up. Try and find any analysis in that EIR about the carbon emissions and global warming associated with lighting up the entire western side of the City 365 days a year with those stadium lights. You can't because it wasn't looked even mentioned.
Posted by: 4Oceans at May 24, 2012 11:31 AM
Check out the SFBG for more lunatic ravings of entitled NIMBYs like 40 oceans. More hyperbole than one can shake a stick at.
"lighting up the entire western side of the City 365 days a year with those stadium lights"
Posted by: Joe at May 24, 2012 12:31 PM
Should be a great addition to the park. We have parks for people to use, and soccer is very popular with thousands of kids and adults wanting to play year round.
Definitely not a waste of taxpayers money, the CCC will certainly approve the project, and the majority of residents will benefit from the new fields.
And SF does not abuse coastal zones.
Posted by: Helmut at May 24, 2012 12:51 PM
4Oceans must not like seeing San Francisco kids getting exercise and having fun playing soccer.
I live in the neighborhood of Kimball Field at Geary and Steiner Street, and love seeing all the baseball and soccer teams using the new astroturf surface. Previously, the fields were too muddy and not used much during the winter months.
His hyperbole hits extreme with the complaints of "high rise stadium lights." To use the fields at night and to increase field usage, lighting must be installed.
Finally, he disparages San Francisco as being the #1 abuser of the coastline, which is absolutely idiotic.
It's getting tiresome with these small minds trying to stop people from living in the City.
As a taxpayer I support anything needing less maintenance, which at the same time improves the current soccer fields for San Francisco families.
Posted by: Jackson at May 24, 2012 1:22 PM
There is a special spot in hell reserved for "40oceans".
Posted by: erdoc at May 24, 2012 2:39 PM
I wonder if 4Oceans is just a masterful NIMBY troll or a piece of performance satire on trolling...
Posted by: Nick at May 24, 2012 3:36 PM
Actually 40ceans brings up a very big issue for coastal dwellers. I remember the same objections to tennis courts at a club in Santa Barbara/Montecito being illuminated at night. The nearby residents won against the private club and made a very convincing case for preserving the night sky at the coast. If this were a parking lot, I can imagine many people howling over the installation of these lights. Desert communities outside of Palm Springs (Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, etc) long ago removed street lights and installed attractive landscape lighting that did not shine up into the sky. One of my favorite experiences is walking at night in the hills near Palm Desert enjoying the night sky whenever I am down there.
Could these fields be illuminated in a more discreet way? There are new lights that only direct the light down and not up to the sky, and these fixtures are now being used in a parts of the Southewest and in some European countries as well.
Posted by: NightSky at May 24, 2012 4:42 PM
Eight acres of Astro Turf and stadium lighting in Golden Gate Park? Are we crazy or just trying to copy Texas? Has Mad Cow Disease surfaced at Parks and Rec? Ian
Posted by: Ian at May 24, 2012 5:56 PM
Actually, there are no nearby residents who would be affected by these lights. No one lives anywhere near that section of the park. And the lights turn off at I believe 9 or perhaps 10 at the latest per Rec and Park policy. As to the people chiming in without understanding that the existing Beach Chalet pitches have maimed many a man, woman, and child, and will never be kept up to a level that guarantees safety? Well, what can you say? It's "Socketsite: where haters talk junk."
Posted by: anonwon at May 24, 2012 6:07 PM
i think this project is a travesty and will ruin that end of the park. i live near there and it's a great area of the park where you can actually find some solitude...oh well, so much for that. now there will be shitloads of people who don't live in the city coming up here and trashing the area even more than they do now on the weekends when they play their league soccer games. this is a short-sighted change to one of San Francisco's best assets.
Posted by: anon$random at May 25, 2012 11:19 AM
@anon$random: There are existing fields there. How is this an area where "you can actually find some solitude"?
Build it, NIMBY's be damned.
Posted by: R at May 25, 2012 11:55 AM
If the "solitude" he's referring to are gay guys cruising in the bushes, then anything puts an end to that can only be seen as an improvement.
Posted by: Fishchum at May 25, 2012 12:14 PM
it's been thought by sports/team physicians for some time that artificial turf was responsible for more athletic injuries.
a recent retrospective study seems to bear this out. with artificial turf linked to up to a 40% higher rates of knee injuries and newer artificial turf even more risky:
is the tradeoff of more playtime really worth a few more player's ACLs every year?
Posted by: modernedwardian at May 25, 2012 7:35 PM
The study you cite above is about American Football in the college context, not soccer. American Football, as is stated in the article, is the leading cause of sports-related injuries in the U.S. (wouldn't have anything to do with 300 pound guys crashing into each other ever few minutes at full speed would it?)
And to answer your question, it apparently is worth it because the lead researcher in the article even discusses the ways to mitigate any potential risk -- which states is inconclusive by the way in the beginning of the article -- through shoe design and training.
Posted by: dude at May 25, 2012 10:25 PM
the study is "about" knee injuries on artificial turf. the studied group was football players with a resulting difference in injuries rates between the natural grass and artificial turf groups. as a retrospective study it is of course inconclusive as the study and article mention. it is however naive to try to label this a football problem.
there is a marked difference in torque,traction, and velocity between man-made fields and real grass.
soccer, basketball, volleyball, and even tennis have more pivot / non-contact ACL injuries then you seem to realize. (2 on my high school state champ soccer team in NJ in the 80's).
these injuries are even more common in girls' and young womens' programs. (i know at least 1/2 women with ACL repairs from college sports; none football).
yeah new shoes MIGHT change this for the better, as might training and conditioning. just as the newer artificial turf appears to be worsening the injuries.
when do you think the shoes will be available? before the fields open? how long until the studies show they work? how much do you like they will cost? will they be required to use the fields?
my question- and it is a question - stands. is it worth the risk? i've played on a lot of mud in my life, who doesn't like a grassy field. but we may need more fields as opposed to artificial ones.
Posted by: modernedwardian at May 26, 2012 10:37 AM
@modernedwardian: I'm sure the study you're citing is correct. I'm also sure it's absolutely irrelevant. If you've been to the pitches in question, you'd known they're not the type of fields that anyone would feature in a study unless it's a zoological study of moles and their homes.
The people playing at these fields have a dramatically increased risk of ankle or knee injuries compared to either a nice grass field or any artificial turf. Since there aren't resources to keep a grass pitch in good shape, it will have to be artificial.
This project will decrease the amount of injuries compared to current fields, guaranteed.
Posted by: OftenLurkingHere at May 26, 2012 6:53 PM
Posted by: SocketSite at May 10, 2013 8:24 AM