An underground water pipe burst early Saturday morning in Dolores Park forcing the closure of its only restrooms.
Park patrons and neighbors, already concerned that that the park’s aging restrooms were inadequate to handle large summer weekend crowds, were dismayed to see a park with over 2,000 patrons and only four portable toilets. The toilets were brought in by us, Dolores Park Works, for our kickoff event, 72 Degrees.
These toilets held out until 3:30 PM Sunday when, overflowing and spent, and despite a growing line, United Site Services reps came to haul them away.
Dolores Park Works has been advocating with Rec and Parks for portable toilets for over two months and just yesterday launched a public campaign to petition the City to bring emergency portable toilets into the park for the season. We collected several hundred signatures in just one day. We will post our petition online early this week. Please sign it.
Dolores Park Works is calling for intimidate action on this emergency health issue. We believe that public facilities are a necessary amenity to urban life and are needed to maintain the health and welfare of the park, the neighborhood and its citizens.
We can’t wait 2 years for a park renovation to bring us adequate toilets. We have to go now.
Rec and Park seems to believe this as well. Park maintenance personnel pleaded with us on Sunday to keep our four portable toilets in place as long as possible. Park area supervisor for the Mission, Bob Palacio has told us he wants to bring in extra toilets, but finding the funds is a problem for the financially-strapped department. Yet here we are, 2,000 plus people and no where to pee.
If a large “impact level” event (more then a few hundred) is planned for Dolores Park, Rec and Parks permit division requires the event planners to bring in additional toilets. But if the crowds are there on their own, the crowd is out of luck, just like the were today as the last toilet was hoisted onto the truck and hauled off.
We’ll keep you posted on developments.