Finally. The long awaited sound study of Linda Beach Park to investigate pickleball and report on noise levels in the neighborhood is in. Salter, a highly respected San Francisco acoustics firm, has concluded “that pickleball does not increase noise levels above those considered normally acceptable by the City General Plan. Additionally, because this is a sport activity … occurring in recreational zoning, we do not consider this to be a violation of the Municipal Code.” This 13 page analysis settles the noise issue. The sounds of pickelball play are within legal guidelines, giving the Commission more clarity.
Because the question of safety has been raised, I was asked to check on the parking issue. Some have claimed that the parking on Linda Avenue has been monopolized by pickelball players. There have been unsubstantiated claims that pickleball players perform illegal and unsafe moves to grab parking close to the four courts. Starting in February and ending the last day of school, parking spaces were counted at different pickup times, 1:30-3:30 pm. With the exception of 2:55 – 3:05 pm on a few days, there were always available spaces.
Pickleball players were asked to park below the crosswalk, closer to the bridge overpass. And we did. Many players walked blocks (some with dogs) or rode bikes to commute to the courts. I never observed parking in the red zone or U turns performed by pickleball players. We generally try to be good citizens. It is impossible to quantify the significant impact on parking by the numerous caregivers at the playground and the many sports parents and coaches and adult soccer players that use Beach Playfield.
To sum up, an independent professional firm has examined the noise issue and pickleball is within limits legally defined in the General Plan. Safety has never been an issue that could be documented. The final element, utilization of the space, is obvious. Even the most casual observer can see that the formerly under-utilized Linda Beach courts are now a thriving community asset and PRD has the supporting data. I urge the Piedmont Recreation Commissioners to approve permanent pickleball courts at Linda Beach.