Golden Gate Park is not a carnival barkers dream. Ferris wheel must go

The eyesore which is the 150 foot tall ferris wheel standing astride the Concourse in Golden Gate Park is the worst example of the proverbial white elephant.

The Ferris Wheel, brought here by out of State money makers, was just the latest toy imported to San Francisco by the money hungry and corporate subservient Recreation and Parks Department.

The Pandemic has limited its use for nearly a year. One day the Pandemic will subside. The promoters are pitching the idea that San Francisco can keep this monstrosity four more years. Who will benefit on this desecration of the Park? The promoters who stand to have a nice four year long payday.

Take it down right now.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 2.14.2021

The 150-foot-tall SkyStar Observation Wheel in Golden Gate Park would stay for four more years under a plan by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, but environmental groups and some residents of the area oppose the move.

Among those opposing the extension is Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents neighboring Haight-Ashbury. The Haight Ashbury-Neighborhood Council (HANC) has already voted to oppose the four-year plan.

“I’m not seeing the basis for such a long extension,” Preston said by text. “As one constituent said to me ‘this is a park, not an amusement park.”

GG Park Concourse III 2.14.2021.jpg

Seconding that opinion is Sierra Club San Francisco Bay, which objects to the lighting. The local Audubon Society also expressed concern about the lighting.

“Wildlife needs darkness,” Katherine Howard, a member of the group’s executive committee, wrote on a club blog post. “Light pollution can have a negative impact on birds — both resident and migrating — as well as bats, insects, amphibians, and other animals.”

The Historic Preservation Commission, an agency of the San Francisco Planning Department, will vote on the plan Wednesday. If the commission grants the requested Certificate of Appropriateness, the big Ferris wheel will operate in the park until March 2025, and will re-open as soon as San Francisco is removed from the purple tier of restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The amusement arrived in March 2020 to be a major attraction for a citywide celebration of the 150th anniversary of the park, which had been scheduled for April 4. But due to the shelter-in-place order, it did not open until 200 days later, on Oct. 8 and then it was allowed to run at 25% capacity until it was shut down again on Nov. 8, after 39 days in operation.

It has been empty ever since and will stay empty until San Francisco is released from the most restrictive tier of COVID-19 lockdowns.

The SkyStar is operated by Skyview Partners, a private entity firm, and costs $15 to ride for adults, $12 for seniors and kids. Five hundred free rides per month were offered to underserved communities in San Francisco. The arrangement calls for a portion of ticket sales to go to the Golden Gate Park Fund. In its truncated life in the park, 65,693 passengers took the ride, which made three revolutions, lifting to 15-stories in height and affording views to the Pacific Ocean during daylight and to Salesforce Tower at night.

Projections were for half a million riders during the first year and the hope is to provide those 500,000 rides and recoup the costs of having the SkyStar sit idle, by extending it for four years.

The meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission is at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and open to the public via livestream.