Supervisor Wiener Proposes Clean, Green and Safe Budget Package

 Supervisor Scott Wiener announced at last night’s public Dolores Park meeting that, along with a community coalition, he is pursuing a package of budget enhancements designed to keep public spaces clean, well-maintained, and safe.  Joining Supervisor Wiener to support these enhancements are Friends of the Urban Forest, San Francisco Beautiful, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

 Over time, the City’s budget investment in basic cleaning, greening, and safety services for parks and public spaces has been dramatically reduced.  The proposed budget package would begin reversing these cuts.

 Proposal will fund hazardous tree care in City parks, protect parks from property damage, graffiti and illegal dumping, and enhance cleaning and landscaping services for sidewalks, plazas, medians and other public spaces.

Doubling the size of Park Patrol ($2.6 million) to address rampant vandalism, dumping, graffiti, and other violations in city parks.  Currently, Park Patrol is so dramatically under-staffed that, at any given time, only 2 officers are on duty to patrol 220 park properties.  As a result, park rules are largely unenforced.  Moreover, the Recreation & Park Department pays more than $1 million a year to address vandalism, dumping, and graffiti in parks.

Enhancing the Department of Public Works’ ability to clean public spaces and maintain landscaped medians and plazas ($2.7 million)to address the filthy condition of many public spaces by restoring staffing to pre-recession levels and adding special cleaning crews for BART/Muni stations, which frequently stink of urine, feces, and vomit.  The allocation would also increase DPW’s landscaping capacity to pre-recession levels in order to improve the department’s ability to maintain landscaping on medians, in plazas, and in other greened public spaces.

 Enhancing Rec & Park’s ability to maintain park trees and prevent them from becoming hazardous by collapsing or dropping branches ($2 million).  Rec & Park currently has very low arborist staffing and only has the ability to perform routine preventive maintenance on 750 of its 130,000 trees every year. This lack of maintenance capacity has led to significant deterioration of park trees, with frequent tree collapses and dropped branches.  The inadequate maintenance of park trees is a significant public safety issue, placing people and property at risk.

“Keeping our parks and public spaces clean, green, and safe is a basic municipal responsibility, yet City Hall hasn’t prioritized this need in the city budget,” said Supervisor Wiener. “Instead, the city has cut these functions and, despite the best efforts of our city staff, has allowed our parks and public spaces to deteriorate.  It’s all too common to smell or step in urine, feces, or vomit in our plazas, on our sidewalks, and in our transit stations.  Our parks are being trashed due to lack of security.  And, we aren’t adequately maintaining our park trees and city-owned landscaping.  We have a responsibility to keep our parks safe, to maintain our park trees, to clean our public spaces and transit stations, and to maintain our city landscaping.  It’s time to put our money where our mouth is and invest in keeping our public spaces clean, green, and safe.”

“This is a great opportunity to start addressing safety and security in our parks,” said Matt O’Grady, Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Parks Alliance. “After years of general fund cuts, the Recreation and Park Department badly needs more funding for these basic services to maintain our world class parks system. The Parks Alliance strongly supports this proposal.”

Contacts:  Supervisor Scott Wiener, (415) 554-6968, scott.wiener@sfgov.org

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Dolores Park Safety Meeting Tonight

The special meeting on a plan to improve maintainance and safety for Dolores Park is tonight, Wednesday May 14 at Dolores Park Church, 455 Dolores (off Dorland), 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  The Park issue is not the only item on the agenda and will not be taken up till at least 7 pm.

Phil Ginsburg has responded to our letter requesting support for a plan to improve conditions at Dolores and there are some bright spots. The Parks Department is fulling supporting a request to increase Park Patrol budget that will fund a vigorous policing of our parks. The department is also in support of our plan to bring more trash monitors into the park on weekends. Though we are asked to find the funding. And finally, the Parks department is working on “a very effective public campaign” to reduce the trashing of our parks. We are looking forward to tonight’s discussion. The full text of Phill Ginsburg’s responce  to our request  is here.

Meet us at:

  • Dolores Park Church
  • 455 Dolores (off Dorland)
  • Wednesday, May 14
  • 6:30 pm
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Dolores Park Special Meeting this Wednesday

We reached out to the San Francisco Rec and Park and Police and they have responded. A public meeting organized by Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association (MDNA)  and  lead by an outstanding group of Rec and Park and City representatives  will be next Wednesday, May 14.  We will discuss possible solutions to the worsening trash,vandalism and public security problems at Dolores Park. Meet us at Dolores Park Church, 455 Dolores (off Dorland), 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome.

  • Scott Wiener, District 8 supervisor
  • Campos, District 9 supervisor
  • Captain Daniel Perea, SFPD Mission Station
  • Phil Ginsburg, Rec & Park General Manager
  • Jake Gilchrist, Rec & Park Project Manager for Dolores Park Renovation
  • Marcus Santiago Senior Park Patrol officer
  • Michelle Pallavicini, RPD Park Service Captain
  • Isabel Wade, founder of San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council
BiRite Clean Up, May 8, 2014

BiRite Clean Up, May 8, 2014

Robert Brust, chair of Dolores Park Works,  who recently joined MDNA will help lead the discussion. Peter Lewis, co-chair MDNA said “Visitors should be able to have a peaceful time enjoying the beauty of the park. ”

We are making progress. Local Mission Station is now talking with Park Patrol representatives. Dolores Park gardeners have told us they are now very focused on controlling the source of the trash more than the aftermath. And local residents and merchant have told us they are prepared to contribute towards better security and upkeep of the damaged playground. We can get this done! Come to this important meeting of the MDNA and help solve this worsening problem. Please spread the word.

Don't Trash Me

Don’t Trash Me

Summery of an open letter to Rec and Park:

We need your help and leadership concerning a worsening set of problems in Mission Dolores Park.  Public intoxication, after hours vandalism, increased homeless camping, out of control trash and occasional violence continue to plague the park.  Here are our ideas so far.

- Extended Rec and Park presence in Mission Dolores Park during peak weekends  hours.  Both SFPD and RPD Patrol need to coordinate their efforts in and around Dolores.

- A Trash Plan – Add two more RPD janitors to monitor trash pickup inside the park on the weekends from noon to 8 pm.  Lead a public education campaign involving other departments to inform park patrons of their role in a clean, safe and fun park.

- After hours Security – Install security cameras around the children’s playground, add more lighting  and install a small fence with a time-locked gate.

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It’s a Party, Save the Date

Dolores Park Works Summer Celebration, a fundraising party to support the stewards of Dolores Park will take place on Saturday, June 21 from 3 to 6pm at 18 Reasons, 3674 18th Street. Money raised will help our Dolores volunteer clean ups, the “Respect the Park” campaign and advocacy for a Safe, Clean and Fun Dolores Park.

Special guests Supervisor Scott Wiener and Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. Wine, beer and bites  generously donated by Bi-Rite, Delfina, Dolores Park Cafe, Namu Gaji, and Cervecería de MateVeza.

18 Reasons

18 Reasons

$35 Friend of Dolores and $100 VIP tickets are on sale now. We hope you can make it!

Or contact us to
VOLUNTEER
  We need help with ticket sales and day of the event door and raffle sales, bartenders,  servers and cleanup.

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An Open Letter to Rec and Park

Dear Sir,
We need your help and leadership concerning a worsening set of problems in Mission Dolores Park.
After hours vandalism, increased homeless camping, public intocication, underage drinking, out of control trash and occasional violence continue to plague the park. Now that the good weather is here, these issues have reached a critical point. Every hot weekend we host an impromptu festival at Dolores Park. The park is known region-wide as the place to party, where there are no rules, and no repercussions for bad behavior.
The neighborhood has been tolerant, welcoming and patient. But we are convinced that there’s an opportunity to begin to address these problems now, during the park renovation, so as to avoid more of the same after the park is finished.

If we are to make the park truly welcoming to all, we need to curb some of the sunny weekend excesses that are both damaging the park and the surrounding neighborhood.

Dolores Park Works, Supervisor Scott Wiener and other concerned stakeholders are actively working to find constructive and innovative solutions. Here are three for your consideration:

Trash pile in front of the new playground, 6:30 pm March 16, 2014

Trash pile in front of the new playground, 6:30 pm March 16, 2014

- Extended Rec and Park presence in Mission Dolores Park on weekends during peak hours. Beginning in the afternoon (noon to 4pm) the crowd arrives and Rec and Park pulls out. Daniel Perea, Captain SFPD Mission Station, has increased uniformed police foot patrols in the park, especially after 3pm and into the evening. Marcus Santiago, of the Park Patrol, is looking into increasing patrols from his officers. Both departments are working to coordinate their efforts. We’d like you to support these efforts and to find the resources for Rec and Park to participate in this collaborative effort. Rec and Park must take a leadership role and help monitor Dolores.
- Trash Plan The sheer tonnage of trash, and the fact that much of it is left overnight, is causing a serious public health hazard. There is a major rodent problem spilling over into the neighborhood. And dangerous debris — such as needles, bottle caps, cigarette butts, broken glass, BBQ charcoal, etc.– is also a hazard to the kids, dogs and the fitness groups who visit the park every morning. One of the most innovative, cheap and effective remedies to the Dolores trash problem has been the weekend trash monitor. A non-profit employee, funded by Recology, the trash monitor is responsible for organizing and bagging trash left at the many trash cans along Dolores and 20th streets. Along with the late afternoon pickup from Recology, this program has done wonders. Adding two more trash monitors to cover the inside of the park from noon to 8pm on the weekends may be all that’s needed now to return order to this chaotic scene.

Recycling and bottle sorting on the lawn by playground March 16, 2014

Recycling and bottle sorting on the lawn by playground March 16, 2014

- After hours Security As you know, vandalism of the new Helen Diller Playground and throughout the park is a serious concern. We would like to help fund and install security cameras around the children’s playground. We are also interested in discussing more lighting around the children’s playground and adding a time-locked gate. Maybe now is also the time to take a good look at the proposed lighting plan for all of Dolores Park as well. The preservation of Dolores Park is a key part of our mission and we are urging that action be taken now to redues park vandalesm.

A deep cut from an ax or a machete totaled a Dolores palm in 2012.

A deep cut from an ax or a machete totaled a Dolores palm in 2012.

 

Maintaining clear communication, aligned goals and resource commitments are vey important to us as I’m sure, they are to you. Time is of the essence. Best results from this letter would give us a written management plan that articulates both the issues and solutions for the Dolores Park warm season 2014 -no later June 1st. We could then  share this plan with ever expanding Dolores Park patrons.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on these issues.

-Dolores Park Works

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