Update: More Details Surface Surrounding the Dolores Park ‘Improvements’

police_presenceSince our post last week regarding SafeCleanGreen Mission Dolores’ efforts to “improve” the park, a number of real journalists did some real journalism.  Normally I would go into the subject a little more, but it is the Friday before a long weekend and I would rather just quote other people’s hard work at length.  Here is the highlight reel (emphasis added all over the place):

On drinking:

People who have a permit for a picnic are allowed to drink alcohol in the park, according to Rec and Park spokeswoman Lisa Seitz Gruwell. If parkgoers are not complying with the rules, however, they will be cited, [Mission Police Station Capt. Stephen Tacchini] said.

“I don’t think ‘crackdown’ is the word we want to use,” he said. “What we want to do is inform people about what’s permissible in the park and what’s not — we want to get their cooperation.” [Examiner]

On community events:

In addition, the city has revised its permit policy, restricting the number of large events to one per weekend and no more than two per month. According to neighbors, events with amplified sound have been happening nearly every weekend. [Mission Loc@l]

Note – We unsuccessfully attempted to reach neighborhood services superintendent Bob Palacio for clarification as to what defined a “large” event.  Presumably Dolores Park Movie Night falls into this category, which means there will only be one additional permit issued per month?

From Robert, member of Dolores Heights Improvement Club who works withSafeCleanGreen:

The tone of the report and maybe the realization that the neighborhood is capable of organizing itself and getting some city action, got the pot boiling. Let’s be clear, we don’t want to end the scene, stop all major events and ban off-leash dog access in Dolores. We just believe that the popularity of Dolores has exceeded the attention she needs from the City and her neighbors. We intend to change that.

Early next year, Rec and Park will host a series of public meetings asking for input into how the 14 million dollars of park revitilization money will be spent. And by Spring, the playground will close for its rebuild. We need a Dolores Park advocacy group in place now. [Dolores Park View]

We asked Robert to clarify the bolded statement, as he offered this explanation:

Rec and Parks has put together a plan to not green light every event that wants to set up in Dolores. It was just too much wear and tear on the park and the nerves of the locals. We can hear every word and note from these big events for several blocks.  Balance, that is all.   Most of us know what a great thing we have happening here.  The social vibrancy of this park is a thing to be cherished.  If we can bring a little order and get everyone to pick up their trash and not set off fireworks at 1 am., with out killing the whole scene, great.

Take Action:

On September 16th, 7 pm at the Dolores Park Church, 455 Dolores Street, the coalition of park supporters […] will meet again to form goals and to strategize. [Dolores Park View]

Around the Web:

Previously on Mission Mission:

Author: Kevin Montgomery

No one should have a biography at age 24.

44 thoughts on “Update: More Details Surface Surrounding the Dolores Park ‘Improvements’”

  1. They’re a bunch of puritans. Quoting from http://www.safecleangreen.com/ :

    “We take so-called “nuisance” or “quality of life” crimes seriously.”
    “We address issues of vagrancy, public drunkeness and drug use in Dolores Park and our other public spaces, and encourage those responsible for such behavior to accept the many resources available to help them build a better life.”

    So I had a couple beers with my Ike’s sandwich last week with some out-of-town friends. You’re right — it was a cry for help! Please, I need to build a better life.

    Anyway. Enforcement of booze laws might ruin everyone’s fun, but it especially irritates me in particular that they’re looking to reduce the number of even totally legit events with permits. Hi guys — if you can’t deal with noisy crowds one night a week, please don’t live near a big and beautiful park. How the hell is Parks&Rec on board with this? The events bring a ton of people and I’m sure are a huge boon to the DP Cafe, Bi Rite, Morning Dew, et cetera — how do the interests of SafeCleanGreen outweigh the interests of the thousands who attend concerts, rallies, and Movie Night?

    It’s the equivalent of (hypothetical) Valencia homeowners fighting against the opening of new shops and restaurants because Valencia Street is over-utilized. Did you guys not realize you live in a city?

    1. its even worse than that. people were afraid to go to dolores park 10 years ago. Safe clean green didn’t change that. the cops didn’t change that. the people they’re trying to kick out for enjoying themselves are the ones who changed that.

      whatever. on balance i think that the park has gotten a bit out of control – but they (cops/nimbys) will overreact in terms of restoring balance.

      1. ” Hi guys — if you can’t deal with noisy crowds one night a week, please don’t live near a big and beautiful park.”

        It’s not one day a week! It’s all weekend and week days when it’s really sunny as well. I am lucky to live across from the park, I know that. I’m not a puritan in fact I am young and fun. I can enjoy the park with respect and still have a great time. It’s not hard to drink alcohol in plastic cups, clean up YOUR mess and act non- belligerent. I think there are a few things that need to be done as in more bathrooms, garbage cans and some dog regulation (having dogs running around trampling your drinks and snacks is a little annoying).

        Do people hang out across the street from your house, leave trash all over, scream all hours of the day, blast music and then pee on your house?

        Yes, the park is amazing but it is also in the middle of a community that houses people who have lived here for a long time, long before many of you started hanging out there.

      2. “Do people hang out across the street from your house, leave trash all over, scream all hours of the day, blast music and then pee on your house?”

        I live on Capp St. so, yes, in fact, they do.

      3. “Do people hang out across the street from your house, leave trash all over, scream all hours of the day, blast music and then pee on your house?”

        Kevin’s point aside, nobody is defending these assholes except for the “hanging out” part.

        If the cops want to step up citations on belligerent drunk assholes, littering, and public urination, fine. Please do that. Nobody will argue with that.

        But if we’re talking about citing everyone drinking a beer with their sandwich? That’s just a waste of police, and it’s going to cause a stupid and polarizing debate that’s already beginning in this comment thread.

  2. I think it’s time to ask: what do people here WANT to happen? Clearly things won’t go back to the way they were at this point, so it’s time to figure out what behavior is worth defending.

    A few thoughts to spark debate:
    * Instead of banning beer, should we embrace it?
    * Should there be a closing time that’s enforced?
    * Would more trash cans help the litter problem?
    * Would raising the cap on event permits be better? Say 5 permits instead of 2?

    1. It sure would be nice if safe clean green would help the police department focus on combating gang problems, or the underage street prostitution, or the open-air hard drug dealing, or the murders, or the muggings and thefts, or one of any number of real problems facing the mission.

      But I guess ranting about hipsters and telling people to ‘stay off my lawn’ is an easier way to feel smug and self-satisfied.

      Whatever. I’ve been drinking in the park for years and I’ll continue to do it no matter how loud the NIMBYs whine. I’ll also keep working and volunteering with community organizations focusing on real problems to help make San Francisco a better, safer place for residents and visitors alike.

      And am I the only person who thinks that ‘safe clean green’ sounds like the name of the newest neighborhood dispensary?

  3. Nice, make sure you crack down on Dolores Park. That way, the only place you’ll be able to drink, smoke, urinate, litter, make noise and be an asshole will be EVERY OTHER FUCKING PLACE IN THE MISSION.

    The hypocrisy in this is sickening.

  4. Guys, this is the park dept. on-line reservation form for Dolores.

    Dolores Park Picnic and Special Event Application
    Please NOTE. Dolores Playground has very strict limitations.
    · No Barbeques or Cooking
    · No Alcohol
    · No driving in park to picnic tables
    · You MUST bag and take your trash home with you
    Requests for picnics will be reviewed every two weeks. If it is closer than 2 weeks to your event, please pick a different park and call 831-5500 to see if you can make a reservation.

    In addition, we are limiting the number of large events at the park in order to preserve it for neighborhood use.

    “neighborhood use” , that is you guys.

  5. Yeah, my Dad hates the punks, deadbeats, loud noise, crowds and things he can’t control too.

    Do you know where he lives? He doesn’t live in the middle of a giant crowded fucking city.

  6. does the “organized chaos” that they are proposing ever work? If we let the locals use it at will for what it’s turning into would it just become another 16th and Albion?

    not sure what the right answer is here. I applaud the city for actually giving a shit about it though. unlike their blind eye to most of the rest of the mission.

    also, good one, Brian.

  7. The park is definitely safer than it was 10 years ago. And used by so many great members of our neighborhood. But I think people are responding to the notable increase in people in the last two years.

    Basically it seems like the complaints stem from:
    *People leaving their trash
    *too many amateur DJs spinning for their friends.

    Would addressing those issues really be an affront to one’s personal freedom to be a douche?

  8. I am astonished that in a city, with such bigger and more difficult problems, that partying at Dolores Park is such a concern. Like others above have said, “You live in a CITY.” Rather than complaining, all ya’ll should crack open a beer and sit on a hill in the park, take in the sunshine, and RELAXXXX.

    Yet at the same time, every time I visit the park, I find it DEPLORABLE that people cannot control their animals, or animal instincts. I am equally astonished at how difficult people find it to clean up their own garbage. (I could spend an entire weekend picking up cigarette butts, and I still wouldn’t get them all!)

    A little respect on BOTH ends would go a long way. If you’re hanging out in the park, carry out the excess that you bring in. And no matter how drunk you are, if it’s dark outside, don’t pee in anyone’s doorway, and at least TRY to lower your voice about three times as loud as you think is acceptable.

    If you live in a house across from the park, why not save your 911 or police station calls for real criminals, rather than drunk rabble-rousers and goofballs showing off for their hip girlfriends? If you want some peace-and-quiet, move to the suburbs!

    Keep the Mission gully but keep the park fun and friendly!!!

    1. ” If you want some peace-and-quiet, move to the suburbs!”

      I don’t think it’s fair for you to tell people who live across from the park to move to the suburbs. All of the people I know on my block (Dolores between 18th and 19th) are amazing people who love living here. We all tolerate the problems with a smile. I’m sure there are many people who have lived here for many years and have seen many changes in the park good and bad. I know I wouldn’t want to be on the church side where people are peeing in the ditches and breaking into cars. There are problems with any neighborhood, this just happens to be a block that seems like a constant party lately and it’s gotten a bit out of hand.

      I for one have never called the police, not once, for any of the stupid behavior that occurs on our block, nor do I know any of my neighbors who have. The only reason I would ever call the police is if I felt my life was in danger. I stay out of peoples business.

      Nothing’s going to change, people are still going to enjoy the park just like they always have, just hopefully with more respect. The only difference is pouring your alcohol in a cup, it’s that easy. The city needs to add toilets, garbage cans and hold the people accountable who leave their garbage behind like it’s a dump. Thats all!

    2. I disagree with the “there are other places or problems that are worse, therefore, nobody has a right to complain or doing anything about the problems in Dolores Park” argument — which seems to be Messy’s argument. So we have to wait until Dolores Park is like the Tenderloin before we can complain.

      Dolores Park is a great public resource for the Mission District and Noe Valley. People who live near there need to accept that lots of people are going to use. But it is reasonable to see if more can’t be done to control trash, limit public drunkenness/rowdiness etc. I think the proposals go to far in many ways, but I do think the address some real issues.

  9. What a bunch of crap. The first event I caught after the “crackdown” was around 10 booths selling random crap with amplified banda and every jackass available to talk into a mike, going in the AM when I got there. My partner and I both work in food, and I’m not opposed to evening events, but I’d be pissed if it was going in my backyard at 10:00AM.
    Yes, drinking and debauchery do go on, and I’m not opposed to a strolling, “move-along” patrol more frequently, but a strict open container philosophy? Bi-Rite (I’m not affiliated) does a nice business in beer and wine, along with anything else people decide to grab on 18th- they used to even pop the top for you if you forgot your wine key. By all means slap the jackasses shouting at 4AM and litter bugs with tickets, but let neighborhood businesses make a buck- god knows they could use it. And some of us do actually enjoy the swings at 1:00AM, know how to not be an asshole, and would rather brown-bag it on the sorta cheap than go broke at a bar every weekend.

  10. littering is complete bullshit. Pack it in , pack it out. Otherwise you are an asshole and this goes for anyone chucking cig butts too. The earth isn’t your trash can. I am a smoker and I don’t leave butts anywhere and it takes zero effort to throw them away properly. That being said quit your frickin whining and drink your beer in your paperbags. They can’t take you all away.

    BTW none of you are hip. Mismatched clothes and poverty is not cool. Jack Kerouac was cool, Miles Davis cool. Straighten up slackers.

      1. we shall then coin a new word –
        Fauxverty – when one feigns being poor in order to appear more authentic

  11. “If we can bring a little order and get everyone to pick up their trash and not set off fireworks at 1 am., with out killing the whole scene, great.”

    Sure, sure, sounds perfectly. Maybe you’d like to file my permit to picnic, asshole?


    I’ll move my drinking to the Dolores St median, thank you. Not techically the park, after all.

  12. @Jocelyne “Do people hang out across the street from your house, leave trash all over, scream all hours of the day, blast music and then pee on your house?”

    In fact they do! I live in the Castro, and the ruckus making is much of the reason I moved to this particular neighborhood. Imagine that.

  13. I have no horse in this race. But I do wonder why is it that several people who are opposed to the partying (Jocelyne) have urged the partyers to put their alcohol in cups or a paper bag. How does that solve any problems that the neighbors are complaining about? A cup/bag only keeps the police from hassling you, but it doesn’t prevent you from being loud, littering, etc.

    1. Piratesnack-

      I am not opposed to partying ( I love a good party). I never said that, did you read what I did say? I did say I was young and fun. I love the park and that is why I choose to live across the street, and I am lucky to live here.

      I AM opposed to disrespectful behavior. I was making a suggestion for all the people who were worried about the police crack down. I AM for more garbage cans, bathrooms and less assholes. I assume people with any sort of brain would already know to conceal their alcohol because alcohol has always been illegal in the park, we are just lucky to have such nice/busy police that have looked the other way for a long time. People can drink respectfully and clean up after themselves, it’s really that simple.

  14. Well, so much for the crackdown. The park was packed with all the usual yesterday.

    Must have been all the feisty comments here in missionmission.

  15. I love going to Dolores to drink wine and eat cheese for an an hour or two with my friends. I’ve never experieinced any rowdiness, but I know, from hearing assholes outside my window on 24th street, what rowdiness sounds like. The problem is that I doubt police will make the distinction between respectful park goers like myself and other rowdier folk. I think that Dolores Park is one of the greatest community oriented accomplishments in the city. It is amazing to be able to drink outside in the sun in one of the most vibrant and interesting neighborhoods in the country and see and meet so many cool people minute after minute. It seems like such a shakey idea to mess with this…and I worry about the outcome of this potential crackdown and who it will actually end up affecting. I imagine people are still going to pee in your alley. People pee on my doorstep all the time. As for people who light fire crackers at 1am, go to town with those fuckers..give citations to people that litter…but lord, stay away from me my friends and our wine and cheese!

  16. All types of people go and hang out there. (not just hipsters) Some people act like they never did some of these things when they were younger.(drinking and partying) Dolores Park is meant to be a place of fun. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out to be that lame. Not everyone has a lot money to spend at the bars.But if there’s a fight or you are acting like A**hole then you should be dealt with. If your over 5 years old you should know to clean up after your self.
    I guess there will always be a small percentage of people that ruin it for everyone else. The park does bring people together. If I lived right there I wouldn’t want it to be real loud every weekend either. Also think of this one if you cant party there and hang out then a lot businesses will be effected in the neighborhood. (Less customers) Don’t let it turn in to a lame park like all the others.
    Keep the dream ALIVE Dolores Park!!!

  17. I live right by the park. I love Dolores Park and realize there is a price to pay for living near such a great community space.

    Unfortunately, just in the last 3 years, it has really gotten out of hand. I have caught perfectly respectable hipsters pissing on my stoop because they were outright disrectful and lazy and in fact were rude when I confronted them. I have caught a carload of dirty hippies who wanted to dump their trash on my sidewalk after their lovely day in the sun of wine and cheese.

    Are there a select few losers who ruin it for everyboday? Sure. Do I think that people who are normally respectful and responsible all of a sudden lose their g0d-d@mned mind because it’s “not their house”? Hell yes.

    If you were to see what the park looks like after a major event you would know what a fiasco it has become. Like a lot of great things in the City, it’s getting out of control. And attention needs to be paid before it gets worse and becomes a neighborhood blight. That’s what the neighborhood is saying.

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