Plan Would Officially Close San Francisco Parks Overnight - NBC Bay Area

Plan Would Officially Close San Francisco Parks Overnight



    San Francisco city parks might soon be getting a closed sign overnight. Christie Smith reports. (Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013)

    San Francisco city parks might soon be adding a "closed" sign overnight. One supervisor says it's the only major city in the United States that has no sweeping park closure hours on the books.

    San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener planned to introduce the legislation Tuesday. He says that parks are becoming easy targets for vandals.

    Wiener's legislation would  establish a rule that all city parks will close at midnight and open up again at 5 a.m. He says the city has a real problem with metal theft and vandalism in parks overnight, which costs the city about $1 million a year.

    Right now, certain parks have rules set by San Francisco Recreation and Parks, but Wiener says they're not easy to enforce.

    "We need park patrol to enforce it and also our police department," Wiener said. "Right now we have rules about park closures that are unenforceable. This will make it very easy to enforce."

    Some homeless advocates are concerned the policy would force people out of the parks and into downtown.  Wiener rejects that, saying the city spends millions of dollars on support services for the homeless.

    This legislation would rule would apply to all 220 San Francisco parks.

    Wiener says in Golden Gate Park alone park employees pick up more than three tons of debris dumped illegally each week.

    If approved, the new closure hours could be in place by the end of the year.