The purpose of the Citizens' General Obligation Bond Oversight Committee (CGOBOC) is to ensure the responsible spending of bond money. The committee, with the support of the Controller’s Office (CON), hired a contractor to survey two recently renovated sites. The goal of the surveys was to determine public satisfaction with the renovations.
CGOBOC requested that the Controller’s Office analyze the following questions:
- Was the bond money successfully used to improve parks for the public?
- What is the public’s satisfaction with the park renovations?
- Are park renovations serving residents of San Francisco, especially under-served communities?
The Controller’s Office and CGOBOC chose two sites for this project:
- Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground in Chinatown
- Stanyan Street Edge entrance to Golden Gate Park
The Controller’s Office contracted with EMC and Interethnica for survey design and data collection. EMC and Interethnica completed over 900 quantitative surveys per park. Contractors completed 50 follow-up in-depth interviews with Willie “Woo Woo” Wong park visitors.
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground Background
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground, named for a University of San Francisco basketball star, lies in the heart of Chinatown. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department completed the $14.5 million renovation in February 2021. The 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond funded part of the park renovation. The renovation included:
- a new children’s play area
- a new clubhouse
- improved access to the park
The renovation process included extensive community outreach and feedback. The renovation also aimed to incorporate Chinese culture into the design. For example, the new playground hosts play equipment inspired by Chinese mythology.
Stanyan Street Edge Park Background
Stanyan Street Edge is on the east entrance to Golden Gate Park. Rec and Park completed the $5.5 million renovation in 2020. The 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond funded the renovation. The renovation included:
- improvements to Stanyan Street entry plaza
- adding a pedestrian sidewalk
- landscape improvements
- adding a bocce ball court
- converting an existing restroom to Flywheel Coffee
Survey and Interview Results
Overall Park Ratings
Experience of Park After Renovation
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground Survey Results
Nine out of ten park visitors rated the park quality highly. The average park quality rating was 3.43 out of 4. Fifty-one percent of park visitors rated the park as Excellent, and 42% rated the park as Good. Of those who visited before the renovation, more than nine out of ten rated the park as better than before. And of those who visited the park before the renovation, three out of four visits more often than before.
Park visitors rated most park features highly. Highly rated features include:
- sports grounds
The features rated least highly were:
- clubhouse facilities
Most park visitors thought the park represented the history and culture of Chinatown. In their interview response, one park visitor shared:
"The layout and design of the park are very good. I like the incorporation of the culture, like the dragon-themed play structure that reflects the predominant culture in the area. It is organic. It created a space for Chinese people to feel welcome, comfortable, and safe from anti-Asian violence."
Many park visitors rated the bathrooms lower than other features. Follow-up interviews revealed the most common reasons for this lower rating were dirtiness and use of the restroom by people experiencing homelessness.
Stanyan Street Edge Park Survey Results
Ninety-six percent of park visitors rated the park quality highly. The average park quality rating was 3.60 out of 4. Sixty-five percent of park visitors rated the park as Excellent and 31% rated the park as Good. Of those who visited before the renovation, nine out of ten rated the park as better than before. And of those who visited the park before the renovation, over 50% visits more often than before.
Park visitors rated all park features highly. Almost 100% of park visitors rated the appearance and trails as Good or Excellent. Many park visitors commented that the lake, trees, grass, and general greenery were their favorite features. Areas for improvement included more trash cans, more seating, and more bathrooms.