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Tom Stienstra: Lake Merced an ‘embarrassment’

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lake Merced

A Field and Stream magazine cover story once named Lake Merced as the No. 1 urban fishing program in America. Chronicle outdoors writer Tom Stienstra blogs that he remembers the story well because he wrote it. But after taking a look at the supposed “freshwater” lake in the southwest corner of San Francisco (and taking photos for a slide show) over the weekend he describes the polluted, neglected Lake Merced as a genuine environmental disaster.

The slide show is here.

Says Stienstra:

The photos tell the story: Look at the old boat hoist, the fishing piers, the ramp to the wheelchair-accessible beach, and the boathouse itself.

Wheelchair access has also been cut off at many of the former popular recreation sites, like the wheelchair ramp to what we used to call the North Lake Beach. I’m surprised wheelchair advocates haven’t sued the City for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.

San Francisco is supposed to be world-class. Despite the Committee to Help Lake Merced railing for years at the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the lake and its infrastructure has turned into an embarrassment.

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