I was deeply disappointed to hear the Rec and Park department decided to end its reservation pilot program at Dolores Park before it had a real chance at success. I, for one, am proud of the innovative, community-focused visionaries at Rec and Park — the naysayers and NIMBY types need to get with the future or be left behind.
Think of how awesome this city could be once we go all-in on commodifying all of our public assets. Paying for and reserving the right to sit on empty grass at Dolores Park would have been the beginning of a beautiful future for our public spaces.
Unfortunately, Rec and Park’s pilot program was the victim of the typical NIMBY political correctness that is sadly such a part of San Francisco these days. There was no real outrage; it was just people posting/liking/sharing on Facebook, which doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing for The City. Perhaps now they can think bigger and start a new app called Parkberry (just in English and only available to iPhone users under contract with AT&T). Rather than simply reserving park space at a fixed fee, we could bid for the right to sit in the open grass or walk down select streets at certain times.
If I’ve got the money, then why shouldn’t I be able to pay for what I want when I want it? I already pay $4 for toast and $10 for pints of Bi-Rite ice cream, so public space should be no different. There really is no better way to build community than through economic competition. I, personally, am tired of people who make less than me using up valuable public space.
Imagine the revenue The City could generate from the right to stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge or to watch a romantic sunset at Ocean Beach (clear skies not guaranteed). Taking in the view from Twin Peaks (pay an additional safety fee for a private police escort to avoid getting robbed) would bring in huge amounts of money. The new revenue could be used to pay for community-oriented corporate events like the Super Bowl or America’s Cup.
The app would be an even better cash cow for The City than parking tickets or the towing scam.
Thank you, Rec and Park, for your valiant efforts in trying to move San Francisco into the future. I am sorry we’re not ready, but please don’t give up the fight to commodify our city. Just think bigger.