Dolores Park-ing Fee!
If y’all haven’t heard, Dolores Park has launched a two-month-long pilot program for space reservations. And the crowd goes wild with boos and hisses.
Read the article from SFist first here. Be informed before continuing…
First of all, I’m for this 100 percent. Before y’all get butt hurt (upset), I’ll explain my piece like an ant’s body
– in three segments.
Like many City folk and visitors from across the globe, I have a plethora of fond memories at Dolores Park. I’ve worked there several times for promos, played in the playground, tennis and basketball courts. I’ve chilled with cool college kids and met positive peeps from different walks of life. Most recently, I helped clean up the prestigious park. With so many daily visitors at literally every hour, you can imagine that maintenance is continuous. People don’t realize that Dolores Park is a “Leave No Trace” park. If everybody lived by this noble notion, there would be no need for fees.
The Bloom Room, a dispensary, organizes a post-420 cleanup at Dolores Park every year. This year, I volunteered to help clean up Dolores Park on 4.21, the day after 420, a busy, herbal holiday.
My cuzo Angelo and colleague Justin also joined in on the Danny Tanner (Full House clean freak dad reference) fun. After a thorough cleanup with a solid group of caring individuals, an official groundskeeper in his maintenance vehicle zipped on over to us to commend our good deed. He half-joked for us to help clean on Monday mornings, explaining that the mess is sometimes worse after Sunday crowds. With this knowledge, the fee is justified in my book. I figured that a post-420 event could be bad, but discovering that the mess is a weekly occurrence is worse.
I’m pretty sure not many people know or even care about the aftermath of having fun at Dolores Park. One volunteer speculated, “Drinkers are the litter bugs.” Either way, the offenders need to Leave No Trace and clean up after themselves.
Hella Free Space!
Upon hearing the news of these Park Fees, I wanted to know the scoop. Because I often put in my due diligence, I saw that the spaces being rented out are a small percentage of the park. If Dolores Park is an envelope, the combined rented spaces would equal to a postage stamp. See photo.
People need to calm down and stop having a hissy fit. Yes, I said hissy fit. Ha! Y’all will still be able to – for free – post up, have a J and/or drink from y’all banned beer bottles, all while enjoying the spectacular SF skyline. Did I mention it’s on the house, er, park?
VIP @ DP
The paid spots are for those special occasions where y’all don’t need to wake up super early to swoop on a spot. Cuz it sucks when you plan to arrive early enough to call dibs on a space, only to show up and folks were two hours ahead of you. Twasn’t their first rodeo. Haha. Now, people can pay to ensure a party plot and arrive way after sunrise.
Take Marina Park in San Leandro for example. It is very busy and they have areas that can be rented out. They’ve been doing it for years and no one complains. Think of these reserved spaces as VIP areas. No need to worry about outsiders bothering the party on your temporary space, except random dogs, kids and drunkies. Unfortunately, there’s no bouncer. Ha!
Apparently, SF Rec and Parks is just reestablishing the paid reservations. If y’all can’t even fathom that a tiny portion of the park is available for rent, think of all the positives of where that money is going. The SF government, in this aspect, ain’t out to get our money, nor cater to the richer folks, but instead offer a service of convenience. After all, Dolores Park is a high maintenence lady. Let’s treat her like one.
Good job volunteering cleaning up the park; better job putting out the messy results when people don’t show respect to the space they’re given the privilege to use. We all need to learn that others want to enjoy a clean and safe Park.