The responses from the Beltline survey and community meetings are in and surprise surprise, this was the conclusion reached by staff:
The predominant theme expressed by the community is more passive use types.
…Limited support was expressed for athletic fields such as football, soccer and baseball at the community meetings and on the survey.
You don’t say? After meeting with the Youth Sports representatives and a quid pro quo regarding the Beltline and Estuary Park was reached which resulted in hardly anyone from the youth sports coalitions to go to those meetings to put stickers on those slides? I bet they didn’t see THAT coming.
Here’s what I didn’t see coming though, huge support for an aquatics center and for a running track. Apparently those two groups didn’t get the memo that they weren’t supposed to be pushing for anything but generic “passive” uses at the Beltline.
From the staff report:
However, there is a strong contingency of advocates for an aquatics center. In addition, a significant number of people from the survey expressed an interest in a regulation competition running track.
But regardless of the merits of other ideas such as the aquatics center, playgrounds, tracks, etc. the staff report keeps diverting back to this:
The uses that scored highest on the survey with support of over half of the respondents (300+) are a community garden, natural open space habitat for wildlife, picnic areas, and walking/biking trails.
Here’s the thing, even when I took the survey I said there should be a community garden, open space, picnic areas, and walking/biking trails. But I also checked things like swimming pool, athletic uses, playgrounds, etc. Why? Because the plot is big enough to support a multitude of uses. I reject the notion that that there can only be one or the other or that there is not enough room to accommodate a variety of uses on the site.
Also the ideas about having a more adventure style playground is great. That would be a way to bring something new and different to the Beltline. But what I think is really important is to use the Beltline and the other longer linear parcels to create a connecting walking and biking trail that would extend from the gateway to Alameda Point and could extend all the way down Buena Vista in front of the Del Monte building.
So check it out, honestly there are so many disparate opinions and ideas, you can read anything you want to in the comments and come to any conclusion that you want to.