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SF considers $1,000 fine for trash in Dolores Park

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City Hall trash talk suggests exponential increase in price of Dolores detritus

Garbage in Dolores Park.
Dolores Park, Earth Day 2011.
Photo by Dolores Park Works

After a longstanding policy of asking nicely proved a consistent failure, the city is now considering hitting Dolores park slobs in the wallet.

Actually, treating San Francisco’s most popular green space like a dump has always been a finable offense. But evidently the risk of having to pay $100 or $200 hasn’t worried Dolores ne'er-do-wells enough to clean up their act. Or anything else.

So now the city might more than quintuple the price of filth-related forfeitures. Jeff Sheehy, City Hall representative for District 8 (covering the Castro, among other neighborhoods), floated the new rules May 9, complaining:

Littering in City parks is unlawful but it remains a problem, especially at Dolores Park. On April 2, 2017, for example, Recreation and Park Department employees had to spend 44 hours picking up 460 bags worth of litter. [...] This is not an isolated example

No kidding.

According to Sheehy’s legislation, under existing rules the penalty is $100 for the first infraction, $200 for the second in a year, and $500 for every illegal dumping after that.

By the looks of the park on an average day, the city should be rolling in money from such fines. But instead everybody is stuck rolling in a great many less savory things. So the supervisor suggests playing hardball with this offal predicament:

The amount of the administrative penalty would be established by the General Manager of the Recreation and Park Department and could not exceed $1,000 per violation. [...] The ordinance expressly recognizes the authority of the Park Patrol to issue citations to enforce the Park Code.

Volunteers finish a clean up in 2011.
Photo by Dolores Park Works

Fines would also apply to the ban on glass bottles in the park, another previously ineffective prohibition that deterred most weekend crowds for seemingly only the length of a quantum event.

“We are asking people in Dolores Park to behave just like they would in Yosemite,” Phil Ginsburg, the San Francisco Recreation and Park general manager, told Mission Local, adding, “respect the park.”