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Some Things Aren't for Sale in San Francisco's Dolores Park (Like Dolores Park)

Controversy struck the famously laissez-faire expanses of Dolores Park in San Francisco this week, after the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department launched, and then quickly rescinded, a program to rent park space.
May 27, 2016, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Anyone who has ever been to San Francisco's Dolores Park on a sunny day has noticed their ability to buy and consume just about anything without the authorities minding much—from cold water to cold beer to other substances that are still illegal in most states, including California.

This week, however, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department discovered how much commercial enterprise the public can tolerate, when Jack Morse reported on a program that "allows people to reserve sections of Dolores Park for periods of at least seven hours." As Morse sarcastically noted," This should end well":

Yes, it costs money. And yes, the primary way to book the spots is online. The new practice of course calls to mind the infamous Soccer Field War of 2014 in which longtime, Mission-born players ran up against a new reservation system being used by recent transplants and tech employees, ultimately causing neighborhood kids to get kicked off what they saw as their own fields.

After a public outcry not rivaled this week by anything other than the lady in the Chewbacca mask, however, the policy was soon overturned. In a follow-up article, Morse reports that the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department had very quickly decided not to extend the reservation program. Some pilot projects are better left in the hangar, so to speak. 

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Published on Friday, May 27, 2016 in Sfist
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