The long, over-crowded nightmare is over, everyone. If the grassy knolls of Dolores Park are someplace you like to call home on sunny days, you'll be happy to know that if and when we have another one of those days that is not sopping wet, the park will be fully, undividedly open again for your sitting and boozing pleasure as of next week.
After nearly two years of disruption the northern "hipster" half closed for its renovation way back in March 2014 in which the various factions of Dolores-goers were forced to intermingle, first with a bicyclist/hip-youth diaspora that was forced to migrate south, then with a gay and dog-owning diaspora forced migrate north, the park shall once again be its old, two-block-wide self, now with about ten times the number of bathroom stalls a total of 31 toilets and urinals between the southern and northern halves.
What was initially supposed to take a year (six months for each half), has extended into a 21-month ordeal costing $20.5 million, with a couple of delays in the work on the northern half blamed on both a groundwater issue, and some vandalism early in 2015 by a couple of idiots that cost an extra $100,000.
The second-phase work on the southern half, however, has gone pretty smoothly it sounds like, and as Fun Cheap SF notes, it includes brand new bathrooms built into the hillside beside the playground (see blow), and a new overlook at the corner of 20th and Church with several benches. Also, a late addition to the plan was SF's first open-air pissoir, up by the pedestrian path across the Muni tracks in that same corner of the park, allowing dudes to pee into a drain, behind a modesty screen, rather than all over the shrubbery.
As Sarah Madland of the Rec & Parks Department told Edge Media Network last month, regarding previous troubles in the park that included much public urination due to the overtaxed bathroom situation, the department was "really asleep at the switch."
A rendering of the new plaza and benches at the 20th and Church corner.
Following a "hard-hat tour" for local merchants and media this week (which is likely to be a rain-hat tour as well), all the remaining fences will fall and the park will be open again for lounging pleasure next week, on January 14.
It's seeming less and less likely that we will see the sun for long enough to properly enjoy the park in the next month or more, but you never know! At least for the next two weeks, expect the grass to be way too wet for sitting. And, remember, when the first big park day does arrive, pick up after yourself for god's sake.
Update: The Rec & Parks team wrote in to clarify that the January 14th opening party is "weather permitting," and they shared this promo video for it, calling for everyone to wear neon and bring
glow sticks glow in the dark gear.*
The new bathrooms in the hillside. In total, the two new restroom facilities at opposite corners are equipped for 2,500-person days of sunbathing.
Previously: Dolores Park Neighbor Is Sick And Tired Of All The 'Events' In The Park
Dolores Park's Massive Trash Problem, By The Numbers
* Glow in the dark gear apparently does not include glow sticks, according to a rep from Rec & Parks, because those are "hard on our parks."