Exclusive: Temporary Gates Installed to Block Public Access to Alley in Ingleside

Gates have been installed with the permission of the city to eliminate public access to Ingleside Path in a move to curb crime.

Ingleside Path sign
Property owners adjacent to Ingleside Path installed gates to block public access to the alley on Dec. 5, 2019 with permission of the Department of Public Works. Alex Mullaney/Ingleside Light
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A ten-foot-tall metal gate and a seven-foot-tall wooden gate were installed on the morning of Dec. 5 to block public access to Ingleside Path, an alley connecting the Ocean Avenue retail district with the Ingleside Terraces residence park.

The Department of Public Works granted property owners adjacent to the alley in September permission to install the gates at their own expense because of their concerns about crime and unsanitary conditions.

How long the gates will remain is unknown.

The Public Works Order states that the city agency “declares a public safety hazard and grants revocable permission […] for installation and placement of a temporary gate, and associated elements for proper installation and access, across Ingleside Path […].”

However, the San Francisco Examiner’s Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, who first reported about Ingleside Path, found that the Office of District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, which is responsible for part of Ingleside, was working on legislation to vacate the alley.

In October, the property owners who obtained the order installed wood barriers to block access to the alley that were noncompliant with the order. The move drew complaints from community members and scrutiny from the local press. At the time, boulders that neighbors had placed on the sidewalk of Clinton Park in the Castro to curb homeless encampments were hotly protested as anti-homeless architecture.

Between Oct. 15, 2016, and Oct. 15, 2019, the properties beside Ingleside Path generated 130 calls for service, according to a review of public records from the Department of Emergency Management. Not every report was related to Ingleside Path, and the majority came from one commercial property.

Seven of the 130 calls for service resulted in a police reports: two burglaries in 2016, two fights with weapons in 2017, one call with no information listed in 2017, one burglary in 2017 and one burglary in 2019.

The lack of reports in 2018 and the solitary report in 2019 may point to a reduction in crime related to Taraval Police Station’s dedication of two foot beat officers to the Ocean Avenue retail district.

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