Plans to transform United Nations Plaza to skate area

San Francisco is looking to convert a portion of the UN Plaza into a new destination for skateboarders. The plaza has picked up a notorious reputation and the idea here is to turn that around.

San Francisco's UN Plaza has picked up a reputation as a hotspot for open-air drug sales and use, and trafficking of stolen goods. Now, San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department wants to launch a new pilot program. 

"We want to create an urban skate plaza as part of UN Plaza," said Phil Ginsburg from San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department.

An urban skate area that replicates some of the world-renowned elements that already exist in San Francisco. 


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The city has already created other skate venues around town. Plans have been submitted to add obstacles and equipment in the area around the Civic Center BART Station with the idea to reach out to the skateboarding community, hoping they will buy in and transform this troubled area positively.

"It's not enforcement that's going to turn the tide, it's activation," said Ginsburg.

 The plans also call for ping pong tables, and other outdoor activities, and for those looking for something more low-key, chess boards. 

"We've already got somebody who's reached out to us, an organization that wants to help program the chess," said Ginsburg.

As for a timeline, the city's recreation and parks department wants to start work in September with the skate plaza opening in November.

The skate plaza would then be here for at least a couple of years, to create a sense of consistency for the community to buy into and protect the project.