The opening weekend of the north side of Dolores Park arrived with two very sunny days, Saturday and Sunday, and so, predictably, thousands of people came to christen the new turf with spilt beer and cigarettes. OK, sure, not that many people smoke anymore. But there was an enormous picnic party happening both days, as well as plenty of bicycle polo on the new multi-use court, tennis, basketball, and even some hacky sack and soccer ball kicking.
The only thing lacking, despite Rec & Parks' multi-media campaign to get everyone to dispose of their trash, recycling, and compost, are a sufficient number of well located refuse bins. I personally noted that there were exactly zero new bins anywhere near the new bathrooms or adjacent to the heavily trafficked exist point at 18th and Church all that were there were the same two sad, overflowing city trash bins, one hidden by the J-Church stop and the other outside the park exit on the sidewalk. Several people on Twitter noted the same problem, and Rec & Parks is promising there will be more bins but why in hell wouldn't they have had those installed already? Not like they haven't had plenty of time!!
Is it just me, or does the new Dolores Park have no trash/recycle bins? Seems . problematic?— We Built This City (@TheRealWBTC) June 20, 2015
@SF311 we are discussing the J Church muni stop at 18th street. It is inside Mission Dolores Park but we are not sure who empties the trash.— Dolores Park Works (@dpworks) June 22, 2015
How does Dolores Park Works not know who empties these bins? And why shouldn't there be bins inside the park grounds, as opposed to all outside, on the sidewalks? The two-month-old "eco-pop-up" which consists of three big dumpsters on the Dolores side does little good to all those who exit the park in the opposite direction, and who aren't going to walk that extra mile just to toss a bottle.
What they did have was this MOOP Squad, which consisted of several young women with face paint who went around with orange-handled trash-grabber sticks (some of which were given to people in the park), creating a bit of demonstrative theater around picking up "moop," which is a Burning Man term for "matter out of place."
As ABC 7 reminds us, this half of the renovation cost $8 million and included six acres of fresh turf, all the brand new courts, a new pathway snaking from Church and 18th into the center of the park, and 27 new bathroom stalls. And despite the fact that the south-side renovations seem like they'll be less involved, there's $12 million remaining in the budget to be spent on those improvements, which include a second new bathroom facility that will be carved into the hillside east of the playground. Also, there will be an open-air pissoir (or two) put in near the corner of 20th and Church so that the male population is encouraged not to skip the bathroom lines and just pee across the Muni tracks, as they have been doing for nearly a decade on busy days.
The south side of the park, the Gay Beach included, will now be closed until at least "early next year," according to Rec & Parks, with the exact reopening timeframe, of course, a moving target. Meanwhile, the gay segment of parkgoers will remain strangers in a strange land, looking for their people on the north side every weekend.
If you want to see an un-crowded view of the place as of Thursday morning, before everyone showed up for the silent disco and subsequent weekend festivities, Curbed posted this nice drone photos.