City Considers Closing Golden Gate Park at Night

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Daniel Ramirez
    A trail in Golden Gate Park. Photo by Daniel Ramirez, via Flickr.

    Thinking about taking a late-night stroll through Golden Gate Park? Think again.

    Faced with an epidemic of homelessness and crime, city officials are thinking abut closing the park between 1a.m. to 5 a.m. Currently, you're allowed into the park at all hours.

    The wooded hillsides have long-been a refuge for homeless people. You'd have to be crazy to want to enter the park at night. Unlit and with meandering paths, it becomes scary as soon as the sun goes down. Murders there are not unheard of.

    In addition, late-night vandalism has recently been an issue, with thousands of dollars caused to rose bushes and trees, as well as a golf course at the park.

    McLaren Park is also cited as a hotspot for nocturnal crime. Coincidentally, McLaren Park is named for John McLaren, a park superintendent who once made Golden Gate Park his home. Call it McLaren's Curse.

    Of course, a parcel of land as large as GGP would be nearly impossible to police in its entirety. But closure rules would at least give the police justification for tossing out campers.

    Evictions like those might cause more problems than they solve, however. When the City kicked a bunch of homeless people out of the Transbay Terminal, crime in surrounding neighborhoods spiked. Sometimes it's easier to just contain the homeless people, rather than scattering them into the neighborhoods.