Supervisor Campos Calls for Hearings to Review Rec and Park Vehicle Policy


More fallout from the hit-and-run death of Christy Svanemyr last Thursday in Holly Park. San Francisco Chronicle reporter (and Bernal neighbor) Marisa Lagos has the details about a round of hearings proposed by District 9 Supervisor David Campos:

Campos will call for a hearing Tuesday to examine the Recreation and Parks Department’s vehicle policy. He can’t focus exclusively on Svanemyr’s death, he said, because of the ongoing investigation, but wants to make sure nothing like the incident ever happens again.

Neighbors have told the Chronicle that they saw park workers repeatedly driving off pathways and too fast in Holly Park, but that complaints went unanswered.

“I want to do a hearing to see: What are the policies and procedures that govern how maintenance vehicles enter and drive in parks? How are they enforced? What training is provided? How are complaints handled?” Campos said. “I was sick to my stomach, dismayed and very angry and upset (by the death).”

According to the parks department, workers are not allowed to drive on park pathways, sidewalks, closed roads or the actual park area “merely for convenience purposes.” If they do need to drive “on a park-scape or other surface not designed for vehicle operation,” they are supposed to have a spotter outside the vehicle.

PHOTO: The Rec and Park vehicle that struck Christy Svanemyr, via KCBS.

15 thoughts on “Supervisor Campos Calls for Hearings to Review Rec and Park Vehicle Policy

  1. Supervisor Campos, if you are reading this: Thank you and what can we do as a community to support you in this?

  2. Campos said. “I was sick to my stomach, dismayed and very angry and upset (by the death).” and can’t wait to get my mug on camera again….

    • NOT Everything has to be about how much you hate people. Campos is a human being, and just like everyone else, is understandably outraged at what happened. Why use this tragedy as a way to push your politics?

      • David Campos is a politician who is running for Tom Ammiano’s assembly seat. As Rahm Emmanuel said “you never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.”

  3. I had a close encounter with a park vehicle when I was walking my dogs in a grassy area, coming around a row of large trees to go onto the sidewalk. A R/P van was driving down the sidewalk (two tires on the sidewalk, two tires on the ground) and almost struck my dogs as I was entering the sidewalk. Luckily, just in time, I jerked on their leashes and pulled them out of the way. The employees didn’t even slow down… not sure they saw me. This is worrisome because the R/P employees daily drive down this sidewalk- entering at Visitation St/Mansell and driving to the clubhouse/bathroom by the tennis courts. Instead, they could enter from John Shelly Dr, drive on the official roadway/parking area, park, and walk 50 yards to the clubhouse. At no time have I ever seen a “spotter” outside of the vehicle as they drive on the sidewalks.

    • If any R/P vehicle is in the park without a spotter, call 311 and report it. City policy is a vehicle must have a spotter walking with it in the park. I was not aware of this previously because I have never seen the Rec and Park employees operate this way.

  4. I hope anyone encountering parks and rec vehicles like this takes note and reports the exact location, date, time and identifying info about the vehicles to 311 and parks and rec. Complaining on Bernalwood is not going to spur parks and rec or the city into action. Official, logged complaints are.

  5. Clearly something needs to be done so a tragic accident like this does not happen again. Hopefully, the powers that be at City Hall will address this.
    As for Campos, too bad he is never this vocal when it comes to the continuous crime, violence, murder in District 9. On that issue, he is very very quiet!

  6. A city truck and trailer hauling the rider mower was parked inside the park less than 20 yards from the site of the the death just yesterday 9/10/13 at 9:45am. There was plenty of parking on street along circle and easy access from street level for mower too so no excuse to have to drive into park and rather shocking considering the recent events. The actual grass mower + driver was per usual, also aggressively hauling ass coming straight toward us without slowing down forcing us to move out of his way per usual. .

  7. City vehicles do need to be in parks, but there should be a rule that they cannot go more than 5 MPH. They should also be equipped with a warning tone or signal, and flashing lights.

  8. Today, I personally spoke with Ms. Ana Alvarez, SF Superintendent Of Parks and Rec, as she responded to my letter I sent to her (and Mayor Ed Lee, David Campos, several persons within the Parks & Rec. Dept, and cc:ing several of the local news channels in SF and on Tuesday, Sept 10th — see text below.

    Today, she told me that “As of today, we will pause the use of vehicles in Holly Park until further notice. Mowing will continue within the park and garbage collection will occur without driving into the park”. Further, Ms. Alvarez accepted responsibility for the message not getting to the mowing crew to cease driving the trucks in the park after the tragic killing incident. Finally, Ms. Alvarez agreed to call me if there is to be a change in this plan. Naturally, she could not (nor did I ask or expect) her to discuss the ongoing investigation.

    Roger Solin

    From: Roger Solin []
    Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 4:01 PM
    To: Lee, Mayor;; Alvarez, Ana; Palacio, Bob; Bramlett, Jeffrey
    Subject: No more trucks in Bernal Height’s Holly Park
    Importance: High

    To: Ed Lee, SF Mayor; David Campos, SF Councilman, Ana Alvarez, SF Superintendent Of Parks And Open Spaces, Bob Palacio, Superintendent Of Neighborhood Services, Jeffrey Bramlett, SF Parks & Rec Dept., Environment, Health And Safety Manger


    Dear Sirs and Madam:

    I am a resident of Bernal Heights and was astonished and dumbfounded while walking my dog through Holly Park this morning at 10:00 a.m., as I witnessed a S.F. Parks & Rec. maintenance truck (with a rider mower carrying hitch) parked inside the park on the grass several yards uphill from the killing and memorial site of Ms. Chrisy Svanemyr, who was killed by being run over last week by the very same kind of truck (see photo 1 below).

    You will see in the following photo (see photo 2 below) another photo from this morning of what appears to the driver of the Parks Dept. truck driving what also appears to be the very same riding mower that was on the truck hitch driving off of the curb of the park and then re-entering the paved site without a curb, demonstrating the truck is not required to be driven into the park operation (the truck can be parked along the perimeter of the park). So why then was it essential to drive a truck in the park at all?!

    Notwithstanding prudent legal protocol in an ongoing investigation, the citizens of Bernal Heights require answers to the following questions now. Presently, on the Park Department’s website (where there is plenty of fluffy, positive promotion and aggrandizement of the department, yet not one reference to this tragedy to assure the people of San Francisco, it cannot occur again).

    1. Why can’t trucks park along the perimeter of the park for standard maintenance, instead of inside the park thereby endangering citizens?

    2. Who authorized trucks to be driven into the park after Ms. Svanemyr was killed? Why?

    3. Why should any person using the park feel safe, knowing this tragedy will not happen again when trucks are continuing to being driven into the park?

    At minimum, management commonsense says you should post a public statement about why there are trucks in the park now, why it is now safe for citizens. If you cannot do this, then do not drive trucks into our park!

    The people of Bernal Heights request a response to the aforementioned questions before any more trucks are driven into Holly Park. We request you post the responses on the Park website and notify me once it has been done.


    Roger Solin, Bernal Heights Resident and The Rest Of The Residents Of Bernal Heights

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