SF’s New Freeway Parks Have Best Goddamn Views in City
Perched directly above the roaring 101, these new parks provide incredible vantage points to gaze out over the north bay. It’s pretty amazing up there.
After 7 years and 98 Million dollars, San Francisco’s new ‘Tunnel Tops’ park is almost ready. We did some snooping around with a telephoto lens (old iPhone) and did not trespass at all (slipped through a hole in the fence) to get you these scandalous (garden variety) images for our dear readers.
The PRESIDIO TUNNEL TOPS is quite literally built over tunnels that span the Freeway running out of the Marina District and to the Golden Gate Bridge. There are two park spaces on two separate sections of the freeway. ‘Tunnel Tops’, and then ‘Battery Bluffs’ down the road.
Yes, San Francisco loves its green spaces so much we have started to build them in the strangest of places.
The new parks stand directly above the 101 freeway and have a 180-degree view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, Alcatraz, and you can see the Palace of Fine Arts dome in places.
The new Tunnel Tops were designed by James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York’s High Line, and it adds 14 acres of new parkland, where there was once only traffic.
There will be a new amphitheater and they renovated the Crissy Field Center and there’s a new indoor “Field Station where kids explore the Presidio through art, science, or simply their imagination”, or so the press release says. There will also be lots of native plants, a wooden jungle gym made of felled trees, boulders to climb on, and there will be grassy spaces for kids to play on, tourists to rest on, and for local dogs to relieve themselves on.
It also connects the Main Post and greater Presido to the park’s Crissy Field waterfront for pedestrians. The area is free, accessible for all, and easy to get to on public transportation. But the best way to reach it, by far, is by bicycle. If you haven’t ridden through the Presidio on a bike and drank in the views from the Golden Gate Bridge, well then, you’re not getting all that you’re paying for to live in San Francisco.
The Tunnel Tops park is in front of the Presidio’s Main Post, but continue west, up the Lincoln Blvd. and you’ll find “Battery Bluff’, restored by the Presidio Trust. This new park space has picnic benches overlooking an even greater view of the GG Bridge, situated in front of the National Cemetery. Presidio’s Battery Bluff Park is uniquely situated and comes with a side of military history.
Battery Bluff’s name alludes to the historic gun batteries nestled in the hillside above Crissy Field – Blaney, Baldwin, Slaughter, and Sherwood. Built by the U.S. Army between 1899-1902, they defended San Francisco Bay. Recently cleaned and repaired, they’re accessible to visitors for the very first time. Check out more history on the Battery Bluff Park here. This park opens April 26th 2022!
Personally, I think we should do this to all freeways leading in and out of San Francisco. Let’s build parks on all of them!
Here’s what Tunnel Tops will look like once it’s finished being built in the Sims video game:
“Presidio Tunnel Tops is the result of a decade of community input and consultation with community organizations, health leaders, and park planners with the goal of making national park experiences easily accessible to all. It was made possible by generous funding from donors to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.”
For More information on Battery Bluff, go to presidio.gov/places/battery-bluff
Presidio Tunnel Tops Opens To All Starting Sunday, July 17, 2022
Battery Bluffs Park Opens on April 26th, 2022.