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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Half of Ocean Beach Parking Lot Closed for Outside Lands - Only One Vehicle Used Lot

It's Outside Lands time again, and for us folk of the Outer Richmond and Sunset districts, we're at war.

Let's face it, there's another year on their agreement with the city to host this monstrosity, so let's get our ear plugs or run to some other festival like this weekend's Nihonmachi Street Fair in Japantown.

What Parking?
Yesterday, I commuted via the Great Highway to and from my job at SF State, and I noticed something, half of the Ocean Beach parking lot was blocked-off, which meant about a good hundred or two cars can't use that part of the parking lot.

I knew that last year, I called the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and they had to contact the city to find out who blocked-off a large section of the parking lot. They called me back and told me it was for Outside Lands.

And for the last couple of times they've blocked the parking lot, the blocked-off portion was BARELY USED.

Just yesterday afternoon on my drive back home, there was only one vehicle parked in that huge section, a big rig truck. That's it. Just one big truck. There wasn't any security, nor signage indicating the reason why such a huge portion of a public parking lot was shut down. Here's a snapshot of the truck and the huge empty lot:

Wasted Parking Space - Outside Lands 2011

Closing off a huge section, especially on the weekend is not a great idea. Surfers park there, beachgoers with family parks there, and it's used as an overflow lot for the Beach Chalet. If Outside Lands has no purpose of blocking off a huge portion of a parking lot, open it up for the public and shut it down when you truly need the space.


Anonymous said...

Outside lands in GG park is a travesty. It is an outrage to have a public park fenced off for such an event and its weeks of preparation not to mention the 180,000 people trampling the plants and vegetation. Outside lands is an event that cries out for an asphalt venue.

Anonymous said...

In response to the above Anonymous, GGP and its fauna is not naturally occurring. It is man made out of sand dunes and cannot survive without human intervention in the form of irrigation. It was created as a spectacle just as many other things in SF such as The Chutes, Woodward Gardens, Playland, Sutro Baths, etc. Yes, it would be a travesty to lose it, but given the park has survived almost 150 years, it is not so easily destroyed. Even with 150k visitors this weekend, it only constitutes 1.2% of GGP's 13M annual visitors (Wikipedia).

In response to the parking lot:
I cannot tell where your photo was taken, but the Ocean Beach parking lot appears to be open from Balboa to Lincoln today. I only walked along the wall so I could not tell if any of it was closed off.

Then again, it could be for Outside Lands parking. The roads inside GGP are all blocked off west of the De Young but the roads are filled with parked cars.

It does not appear they are prohibiting bicycles and pedestrians, but bicycles must use the the sidewalk/wheelchair ramp in some locations because barriers block the entire width of the road.

Despite the roads being significantly narrowed by parked vehicles and big crowds walking around, the cars are still trying to get around pedestrians and bicycles in a very precarious manner. I'm not sure who the cars belong to though. Paid parking or staff perhaps.

Not all the road closures are listed on Outside Lands' website. Middle and Overlook are completely closed off.

Additionally, bicyclists also need to be careful for horse poo. Many of the roads are covered in it due to the Outside Lands staff using horses to move around.

Anonymous said...

A day later, some of the roads are still closed. Any idea when they are expected reopen.

The roads are still littered with horse poo.

Sunday, while I was at Simple Pleasures on Balboa, one of the patrons mentioned that Outside Lands closed Great Highway. Any idea what that was about?

Akit said...

Great Highway was wide open. Rumor has it an Assembly Member's office e-mailed their constituents and said it was closed.

I drove on Great Highway in both directions from Balboa to Sloat without any problems. I did it Friday during morning and evening rush, and Saturday late evening.

What I do know is Great Highway will be closed this coming Sunday for a marathon.