The placid and some could even say fun process that has been the Dolores Park Rehabilitation planning is starting to show a few cracks. At the last planning steering committee meeting on July 28, we were hit with a wall of maps and sketches. Each sketch show one of several possible design solutions to one of the many problems identified by the team. Where will we put the new picnic area? The old one was swept away by the playground construction. Where will we put the new restrooms? Where will we put the new paths? This one was extra fun. The map for the paths showed a 14 foot wide road running from the playground to the corner of 18th and Church. (Beep Beep). There was some concern about the width of the road, but we didn’t discus it at the meeting. We had a lot to cover and the role of the committee is to “guide” the participants of the larger community work shops, about 150 or so, as they make the decisions. We were being prepped.
One rather interesting bit of drama came when out popped a series of proposed locations for the food vendors.Well here my well-behaved and professional committee members protested. We were not going to help locate food venders. No thank you. We then attempted to bring our architect leaders up to speed. Yes, Dolores Park now has a food vendor, and the Park Commission has approved slots for two. But many in the community do not feel food vendors in Dolores are appropriate. Our one vendor now sits in the middle of the plaza between the Mexican Liberty Bell and the Statue of Miguel Hidalgo. It is not improving the view. We explained that Scott Wiener’s office has been assured Park and Rec would attempt to move the cart to a spot on the curb. It has not moved. The food vendor plans were quickly removed and the meeting moved on.
But I have to ask, are we being to complacent? Is it time to have a real discussion, a protest even, about all the stuff we are being asked to place in Dolores Park? Yes, the new design will have more benches, and a viewing plaza at 20th Street and Church. And everyone wants bigger and cleaner restrooms. But how many picnic tables do we need. Do we need a new 14 ft road? And if we build a new maintenance building and two new restrooms, do we need to keep the crappy old clubhouse (It’s historic you know)? The playground has already blown out a footprint twice its previous size. Keeping the park’s open lawns has always been a concern. When you ask people on the street about the renovation they frequently ask us why are we messing with Dolores Park. The committee has shut down the call for an artificial soccer field and the food vendor area, so we are not completely useless. We may need some help on this one though.
- Dolores Park Rehabilitation Workshop #4
- August 25, 6:30 pm
- Mission High Cafeteria