spacer Castro Courier banner
spacer San Francisco, California January 2012

spacer spacer spacer spacer
  Home Current Issue Advertisers How to Advertise About Us Issue Archive Community Links  

Castro Parking Lot Gate Used and Abused


By Daniela Przybyszewska

After a recent incident where a still unidentified driver rammed a vehicle into the parking lot gate behind the Castro Theatre, some thought that a measure of prevention for such a potential future event might be extending the parking hours. The parking currently closes at 1 a.m. and according to Sgt. Chuck Limbert from the San Francisco Police Dept., it is going to stay that way.

Sgt. Limbert said that keeping the parking lot open through the night is not going to solve a problem as it is located in a residential area and can get noisy after hours. He said dealing with the noise complaints of unhappy neighbors is not what the SFPD aims for.

Currently Patrol Specials, a group hired by the Castro business district, provide extra security. The group members go out at night to patrol the lot and also to lock the parking gate at 1 a.m.

"Someone, apparently, decided that they were not going to be kept in the parking lot so they rammed the gates," Sgt. Limbert said. Although the gate was severely damaged, "It will definitely go back up, there is no doubt about that. It will come up in a stronger way." He added that cars remaining in after the closing hours will be ticketed.

Sgt. Limbert is surprised that not one of the residents called the police and that the impatient driver hasn't been caught yet.

He pointed out that it is impossible for the people in the neighborhood not to hear that kind of noise. "Yet nobody said anything," he said.

Although installing a camera would help identify such creative minded drivers in the future, Sgt. Limbert argues that the city is reluctant about putting one up. "Everyone thinks Big Brother immediately. Other countries have cameras and live with them, but we haven't reached that point yet in the United States," he says. However, he said that if a private citizen wants to put one up, it would be a great idea.

As for right now, as a much stronger gate is about to be installed, night owls will have to use less creative ways to exit the parking lot.