Dolores Park

Churchgoers Pissed That Dolores Park Partiers Are Illegally Taking Their Illegal Parking Spots

Parking in San Francisco is notoriously difficult, as the 900-or-so miles of publicly available on-street parking often just don’t cut it for those in search of convenient places to leave an automobile. This dearth of free storage is particularly noticeable on Sunday mornings, when those San Franciscans who don’t worship a pagan goat god in the privacy of their own homes drive to one of the city’s many houses of worship to attend a service. As most of the churches in the city don’t have adequate parking, the congregants have landed on the neat “solution” of illegally double parking wherever they please. But now, it seems, another group has gotten wise to the double-parking game: parkgoers.

This pattern of illegal double parking is particularly bad in the Mission, and has been driving neighbors crazy for years. This is perhaps best exemplified on Dolores Street, where every Sunday morning parked cars line both sides of the street creating a narrow chute for cyclists and drivers to share. And while the neighbors complain about this illegal practice constantly, the city looks the other way to the benefit of the churchgoers.

Things have recently begun to take a turn for the interesting, as what few illegal spots there are appear to be getting snatched up by people heading to Dolores Park. And the church crowd is not having it.

As reported by CBS Bay Area:

[The dubious legality of double parking] been an ongoing argument with some who think it violates church and state separation, turning a blind eye to hundreds of $110 violations each week in deference to the religious community.

And, it gets more complicated with some churchgoers saying they can’t find a place to park along those medians because of all the sunbathers at Dolores Park who have realized they can get away with double parking too.

It seems that the godless parkgoers have gotten hip to the ways of the god-fearing churchgoers, just perhaps not in the way anyone expected. Maybe a shared communion of park truffles is in order.

[Photo: SF Citizen]

Comments (97)

Who’s to say drinking cheap beer at Dolores Park isn’t a religion?  It certainly seems to be for many folks.

either everyone should be able to do this or no one should be able to. going to church doesn’t make you special.

could not have said it better !!!!!  We all have the right to worship WHO/WHAT/WHERE we want or need( if memory serves me Jesus walked to worship )…..Hey maybe is we collected $110.00 (ticket) a car every Sunday Morning…maybe we could feed the hungry or here is a real obtuse thought build a PARKING TOWER…..

Get your shovel and start digging. I bet you aren’t even born in San Francisco. Go back home hippie. Start giving tickets and tow those cars. Are the registrations current ? Do they have adequate insurance?  People don’t appreciate what you have. What creative and constructive actions have you taken for San Francisco.  I played at Dolores Park as a young boy and you people have trashed her. GET OUT. LEAVE.  

You’be been here too long. You leave to make room for us “newbies”

I am in the tech industry and make a metric fuck-ton of cash and love trashing your park and ruining your city.

Bwah ha ha ha!

Does not matter is some one is from San Fran or not.  If I was a resident on that street I would start calling tow trucks every Sunday morning to get the double parked vehicles moved.   I would make certain to park my vehicle on the street the night before and if any one…Church goer or beach goer prevented me from getting out they would be towed.This is on the City for not enforcing it’s own laws.  Either they ticket and tow the members of the Church and everyone else or everyone can double park without issues.

Only an uninformed auslander would use the term “San Fran” because such a term disrespects our city.  Get a clue!

It’s NOT your city. You don’t get to decide who lives here and who can’t. I know you really think you do when you go to public meetings and fight new housing, but you’re NIMBY tactics only hurt those less fortunate and not protected by Prop 13 or rent control.

You suck.

WE don’t want policies that encourage the immigration of tech workers or homeless.   They both bring our quality of life down.   Ship em back  to the red states.

Well said! Meanwhile call a Uber / Lyft / public transportaction / walk :-)

Amen :-)


It’s always bothered me that the cultists are getting special treatment by the police. I mean, I know they’ve got a mental illness, but we shouldn’t coddle them.

Good thing an atheist showed up to remind everyone why they are the most hated group in america.

Most hated group??  Atheists?

Do you climb on that high horse so you can be closer to the lord?  

Yes.   The idea of actually using logic, reason and equality makes people pissed off.  Perhaps it is time America got mad and took a look at themselves.

Oh, and let us not forget that most of the people at the park are statically likely to be Christians.  but why let fact get in the way of your judging eye!

A-freakin-men, Coyote

most of the “churchgoers” driving are coming in from out of town, as they left the neighborhood ages ago. the churches should either build a parking garage or piss off. if it’s illegal for beer drinkers it’s illegal for churchies, or it is legal one way or another.

i thought/heard that churches pay the city for parking in those spaces.
Not that I’m justifying it in any way I think it’s utter bullshit and they should take fucking muni or will God zap them into hell if they’re late? Or take a Lyft. Or just stop going to church and turn churches into housing for low income and indigent. Fuck church. Leeches.

Nope, nope and nope. This subject has been an ongoing “debate” for years.

Churches do NOT pay for this. The police claim it doesn’t happen (I’ve been told this) and really do look the other way. Smart churches post people who have everyone’s keys. I  used to live near Duboce Park and when I was parked in by a churchgoer a warden standing at the door moved the offending car for me, without my even asking. That was his job.

But if your church doesn’t have a parking lot, don’t drive to it. Period. It’s ridiculous. I don’t get to park illegally because I’m going to to the doctor, or a restaurant or for any other reason.

I’m not opposed to people driving, and it should be possible for people to drive regardless of whether their destination has a private parking lot. But they should park legally. There are thousands of legal spaces, but the city’s perverse policy of encouraging people to use them for long-term storage means that they’re unavailable for anyone who just needs them for a few hours.

Reinstate Sunday metering, and set the meter prices high enough that there are some empty spaces available, so that people don’t need to resort to illegal parking. While you’re at it, use the proceeds to improve Muni service. Done.

Sunday metering can’t be ‘reinstated’ since it hasn’t ever existed except in tourist zones. There are not enough parking spaces in the city, and city policy specifically is intended to discourage driving by limiting parking, granting sidewalk cuts, building parklets, and preventing new condominiums and apartments from providing adequate parking. THAT is the real issue, there are twice as many cars registered to residents than there are parking spaces, but the ‘turning a blind eye’ by Parking and Traffic is not even-handed and seems, in the case of churches, to be illegal government support of religion, in my opinion.

You move. You lose. No one owes you anything. Your  ”god” doesn’t exists. You’re now surrounded by people predominately smarter than you that know better and don’t need such pathetic support systems. Stay in your out of town places. You’re no longer SF. When you left you left your entitlement to anything behind. Figure that out and stay where you belong. Well, it’s either that our meet your god sooner. Your houses of god will die off quickly as your legacy patronship does.

oh really? wonder how long you’ve been “SF”? just the fact you use that term says to me, not long. entitled little jerks like you are destroying everything that made san francisco a great place to be and live in. you are basically saying, if you can’t afford it, or can’t cut the mustard, you don’t deserve to live in this city. it is becoming more like a city i wouldn’t want to live in every day. if i was contemplating moving here now, at the same age i moved here, i just wouldn’t because all it is a place for greedy people to capitalize. that concept was so opposite from what drew me here in the first place it isn’t even funny. this entire thread of commenters (most of whom don’t respect anyone or anything that came before them, or who have any respect for the history of this town) can go suck it for being so far up their own bums (well, except a couple of reasonable ones).  

Double parking on Sunday around neighborhood churches is a long time San Francisco practice, a tradition if you like. The apparent fact that recent crowds who are going to Dolores Park are now taking advantage of this by also double parking to me signifies another characteristic of the City that is being abused or misused. Sure it is technically illegal, so technically one can demand “we” get to double park too, but it misses the entire history and flavor of the practice. I imagine what will happen is no one will be allowed to double park, which quite possibly will push more old-time residents away and out. Change is inevitable, for those of us who have some roots in the City many of these changes are difficult to see, many of the idiosyncrasies  that made the soul of the city of St Francis seem to be rapidly disappearing. Perhaps they will be replaced by new ones, let’s hope trashing Dolores Park, and other parks, is not one of them

I was born and raised in SF (although I moved away years ago) and the double parking thing on Dolores has ALWAYS existed as long as I can remember (back to the early 70s in my case) for the church-goers.  It seemed to peacefully co-exist with the neighborhood for all these decades until now. What’s changed? The people who live there now that’s what.  It saddens me to visit my home town now.  It’s soul is gone.

But beating up young school children and using blacks for slaves has always existed!  Why change now?

I was born and raised in the City and I have always found the practice hugely obnoxious, and not remotely peaceful for surrounding businesses whose customers can’t hardly get near on Sunday mornings. I’d never thought I’d say it, but thank goodness for the tech workers, the only people more rude and entitled than law-breaking Christians.I hope they ALL get towed.

100% agree!  I am enjoying the spectacle of it.  I’m all for city traditions but this feels a little too separation of church and state violating to me, so might as well press the issue with hipsters.

Just because it’s “tradition” doesn’t mean it’s not asinine, nor that it hasn’t always been so.  FGM is a tradition in some cultures too, I guess you’re cool with that as well?

Yep! Agree. It was just always kind of an acceptable solution for the churchgoers and people respected that as their temporary informal parking and didn’t do it unless they were part of that church.

When did things all of a sudden become so anti-church-? The far right craziness and bringing “church” into politics  has resulted in fallout, I suppose.

It’s cute that anyone who lives here currently really believes that they were the original inhabitants.   What right does one person have over another?   Birthright?  The source of all bigotry and racism.

Drinking all Sunday in Dolores Park = okay support system

Going to church on a Sunday by Dolores Park = pathetic support system

Cool, bro.

I don’t think anyone claimed that drinking in Dolores Park was a support system.   I personally find the scene there very douchey, and it doesn’t hold any interest to me personally.    That said, anything is less pathetic than church.

I am a resident who lives on Dolores Street next to the park. 90% of the people parking are park goers. On Sunday nights there is a group of Asians who attend a church and then line up at Bi Rite For ice cream. Now it’s so bad that people park late in the day and go to dinner at Delfina or somewhere nearby. It’s a joke and some cars are even left overnight. As always the city abandons their residents and worries more about building new condos.  Enough is enough!„

Oh lordddddd, here we go again.  If these people were white, would you have said “A group of Whites” in your comment?

Maybe if you didn’t oppose new housing construction tooth and nail the city wouldn’t have to spend so much time on it because we could build enough to meet demand. Think much?

4Shure,  I oppose new construction tooth and nail.

Why should I give up my quality for newcomers who too frequently have a bad attitude.  They just aren’t that special to me.

Lee made a mistake giving tax breaks to the likes of  AirbNB,  the jobs magnet that brought this plague of people seeking handout to the City.   

You know, I always kinda liked this practice. The double parking is a good use of space/resources (traffic off hours on lazy sundays, when two lanes aren’t really needed). And while I’m not a religious person, I like the weekly reminders that there’s more to my neighborhood than the weekend Dolores park set (which I love, but let’s be honest, can also be a little homogenous as a culture), and different people with different views live here too.

You know, a bias for tolerance. 

Yes, yes, yes, yes!

At reachoutandtouchfaith - “…surrounded by people predominately smarter than you…” Please don’t start this. Writing code does not make you smarter than everyone around you. I know that’s hard to accept, but no one is impressed by the new food delivery app you’re making. Oh wait, don’t tell me, it’s bigger than that, and you’re about to disrupt the industry….?


I’ve lived in the Mission for decades, work for an arts nonprofit and have no worries about my own housing situation. I am not being “forced out” and don’t go to church. I have no personal stake in this latest space war. I’ve always been glad that the city “looked the other way” at this quasi legal tradition. I NEVER take one of those spots when I’m going to brunch. So what if gives a tiny advantage to churchgoers on Sundays? It’s also just a tiny bit of decency in our increasingly mean and heartless city. I’m sick of the literal crap that thousands of people leave leave all over our lovely park every day. And I’m really sick of the attitude displayed by many of the posters in this thread. The city isn’t going to care one little bit about any of it. Tickets will just be issued and our nice little bit of humanity will just be another victim of the hoards of thoughtless

Yes I agree

The ‘so what’ is that it benefits one group and not others, AKA discrimination.  

You support discrimination.

“tiny bit of decency in our increasingly mean and heartless city” Unless you’re just trying to drive down that street, and then you’re just screwed.  One persons “decency” is another persons traffic hazard.

I have never had a problem driving down Dolores on Sunday, and I do it every Sunday.  I also bike on Dolores on Sundays, no prob.

i have driving down dolores on a sunday and it sucks. it’s unsafe. 

The fact that some are allowed special parking privileges is segregated discrimination and reeks of unfairness ! Where is my free parking ! I pay property taxes and we all know the stinking church cults… DO NOT !

Like it or not, it’s called tradition. Goofing off in the park drinking beer all day is not a tradition. Gen X and earlier liked it here and there. Millennials think it’s the most awesomest thing ever in the history of the planet, because their home living situations suck so bad. Well, be that as it may, stop messing with a tradition, kids. Boo hoo if you don’t like churches. Deal with it and stop being such brats. You didn’t deserve that medal you got for fourth place on your bad soccer team, that finished fourth out of four.

“Goofing off in the park drinking beer all day is not a tradition.”

What? What city are you living in? It may not be a religion, but of course it’s a tradition.

“it may not be a religion, but of course it’s a tradition”

Why are you going off on a tangent from my words? The tradition is the police letting churchgoers double park. Not religion itself.  The police looking the other way is a tradition, and it likely keeps people coming back to their family’s churches in the city when perhaps they otherwise wouldn’t. get it? it’s culture. Sitting around swilling IPAs in the park every day, even during the week? That’s a pretty new thing. The Park is great. Thousands of people littering and getting wasted in the Park all the freaking time? not so much. Hey, have fun. Be normal. Do it a couple times a year. All the time tho? Grow up. And respect the cultural fabric that surrounds the park while you’re at it, instead of trying to game everything all the time, newbies.

I’m not sure I understand why double parking is a “tradition”? A “tradition of assholes”? More people would be able to park along the street if everyone stopped double parking, yes?! I’ve never been to SF, and never plan to visit, but where I’m from, double parking is a quick way to get your car keyed or tires flattened! It’s rude and disrespectful to everyone else in the community who’s driving to double park! Everyone should get tickets for it! They’re lucky they haven’t gotten worse yet!

The two of you are referring to a completely different kind of double parking. Kenny, you sound like a dinosaur; some traditions are just stupid.  Confused, you sound like an idiot; look up double parking and figure out your mistake on your own.  Clearly, double parking doesn’t let more people park.

Huh?  If you think Dolores park looked anything like it does now in the late 80s / early 90s you clearly were not here then.

No shit. In the early 90’s Dolores is where you went to buy shitty heroin (over by Church and 19th) or to get stabbed.  If you were really lucky you might have gotten both.

Hmm,  Church and 19th Church and 19th Stree 

Maybe you meant 19th and Dolores??  But it still doesn’t make sense.

Cause anyway, in the early 90’s my daughter was going to pre-school in the Church basement, between the school field trips and that   Dolores Park was right there we visited  and I don’t remember that.   I was never afraid of being stabbed, and I never understood that the guys were selling heroin.    I thought they were selling marijuana.  

Burning crosses on black people’s lawns was always a “tradition” of the church.  Wonder why that stopped… oh yeah, it was wrong.

I live in the Mission and have seen this double parking all over the place but it is especially bad at this location. I absolutely believe that Churchgoers are not entitled to these spots any more than parkgoers  or brunchgoers. If the city wants to allow double parking on this street at very specific times to relieve parking issues so be it but they need to be strict about it, otherwise its a mess (like it is now). 

i like the attitudes people have about “live and let live” however the churches are not paying to use these spaces for their patrons. if there was an official arrangement between the city and the church to use the public driving lanes for their private parking needs it would be one thing, but you cannot think a “look the other way” policy is actually a reasonable long-term solution.

Bravo! My thoughts exactly. I am on the fence about how I view this situation, but I am not the one making fluid policy here. I have, a time or two, conducted an experiment. I picked out a car(s) that parked starting on Saturday morning and then checked on them periodically throughout the weekend. ⅔ of the time, those same cars were still there through Sunday night and sometimes until Monday morning. Interesting, no?  At any rate, it’s a lovely day and the sunshine is beautiful!    :)

Apparently its been working perfectly fine for fifty years. If it wasn’t for all those dang gentrifciationers, tech geeks, and beer drinkers it still wouldn’t be a problem!

Yeah! and if it wasn’t for the Civil war we could still have slaves!  Damn liberals and people wanting equality!

Really, man? Really?

Rick, your San Francisco is gone now. Long gone. And it’s never coming back.

no, it isn’t a tradition. it’s something Gen Y started doing not too long ago, they’re overdoing it, and it’s lame. like i said, Gen X and earlier liked the park just fine. We didn’t freak out and have to be there constantly, littering. They’re doing it to Precita Park too. It never used to have so many people sprawled out all over, crowding it up, leaving coals on the grass, bottles, whatever. grow up already

so everyone can be like you - old, grumpy, and unable to use a comment system properly

you wish + stop littering + sorry your apartment sucks so bad

Because if you aren’t grumpy, you must be a litterer with a bad apartment.  Why don’t you just straw man your way through this whole thing, seems to be working well.

that made no sense

shared communion of truffles. That’s fucking hilarious. 

I’ll stand on a pulpit at Dolores Park and describe Continuity practices to the masses without the threat of hell or heaven.  Just practices, using reasoned based analysis, that will lead to happiness.  Thouget creates reality.

I’d come out to hear that.

Wait, I thought we were hating on park goers this week because the tourist crowd has been trashing the park and not cleaning up?

I have lived in San Francisco for nearly 25 years. My husband and children were born here. I lived kitty-corner from Dolores Park for a decade or so, starting in 1991. So I guess I am old enough to possess the long view of the area. The idea that tradition or native status confers special privileges is silly; not all change is bad, and we should question our habits from time to time, to see if they still work for most. I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned the obvious: we SFers need to get the fuck out of our cars and improve public transportation. SF doesn’t need to be a driving city, and it’s ruining quality of life for everyone. Generous though it may be, driving churchgoers should not be allowed to double-park, any more than anybody else. Besides being unfair, those parked cars are a menace – you’re humming along behind some SUV, it swerves and – boom! – there’s a 3-ton hunk o’ metal in your path. Nope - sorry. It’s dangerous to other drivers, cyclists and peds. And you can hardly blame park-going millenials and tech bros for piggybacking (it might be the only thing you can’t blame them for). It’s time to stop this antiquated nonsense and question why we don’t have fast, frequent, reliable public transit (it’s okay along some lines, atrocious in other zones). Dolores Park used to be a crime-ridden, drug-infested horror show (someone died on our doorstep with a syringe in his thigh and our neighbors, a family of El Salvadoran children, prodding his carcass; not the image Bi-Rite and Delfina, located across the street, like to embody these days). Not all change is bad. Work with us, God-lovers.

Narrowing a lane of travel to add parking on a day when a lot of people need to park and traffic is light makes a ton of sense. Reserving this parking for churchgoers, whether officially or de facto, is unconstitutional. If you think that churchgoers should get to park illegally while park-goers should abstain from using the same spots because of tradition, you are hilariously unaware of your own privilege and prejudice.

“On a day that traffic is light..” Sunday has always struck me as one of the worst days in the city for traffic. You may miss the commutes, but getting around the city is horrorshow.

When I was growing up in the mission in the 80s/90s this was common practice so that there were more accessible spots for older or disabled churchgoers. No one took the close spots if they could walk from further. In theory, I agree that it’s unfair for the city to give special treatment to one group, but it’s sad to me that a courtesy that used to be understood among neighbors is now a flash point for animosity between people who share a neighborhood.

Here’s a small way to make parking a little easier. Http://

Why doesn’t the church have a bus to pick everybody up?  

Ooooooh, maybe they could put those new Leap buses to use during the weekend, when the Marina bros aren’t using them to commute to the Financial District!

The truth is this parking is a lawsuit against the city waiting to happen, as it makes left turns far more difficult to complete as both the crosswalk and traffic from the opposite direction obscured by the illegally parked car.  

Further why doesn’t the city make some money on the multiple school parking lots in the area.  I’m sure they could partner with one of the parking apps and simply charge people to park in the Mission High, or Everett Lot.

The only church that runs this right is the Samoan one on Guerrero between 18th and 19th.  They have people out there monitoring, and when church is over, the cars are gone.  No “all day parking”.  I love it when two huge church dudes walk up to some fool double parking and offer to “escort them into the service”.

If the churches want to keep up this practice, they should be calling the tow trucks in 30 minutes after their services are done, get your car towed once, and you won’t double park there again.

Do those two huge Samoan dudes move their parishoners’ cars when a heathen’s vehicle is blocked in? Because if not, it makes the intimidation tactics you describe a lot more noxious.

no one is blocked in because they are parking cars next the median, not the sidewalk

Pave over the park, use it for a parking lot. All problems solved, all wrongs righted.

well, so the church-goers are upset that others are taking away their “special privileges.”  can’t blame gays this time.  too bad for them.

I’m fine with a day of double-parking. It reduces the already-crazy weekend street-parking pressure to reasonable levels. It’d be nice if somebody put up temporary signs saying “park here after XXXX PM, you will be towed”, but that said, has anybody seen fire apparatus run through Dolores St between 20th Street and 16th Street on a Sunday? It’s an agonizingly slow process. 

Now take a minute to think about how that apparatus can manage a turn from double-parked Dolores onto Dorland or…Dolores Terrace. It ain’t happening.

Fire safety is neglected often enough in the Mission. The impact of double parkers on local emergency response needs evaluation and mitigation. 

Who drives to Dolores Park?  Is it now a suburban tourist destination?  

I don’t give a damn about the double parking.  There is plenty of Sunday capacity with one lane.  But one starts to wonder why so many people need to drive to the park, and to church, when there is transit everywhere.  

Also, since most people in Dolores Park are enjoying copious amounts of PBR, “edibles” and smokables, do we want these stoned hipsters driving at the end of their partying day?  Scary.  

I know how to fix this. BURN BARREL! Watch what happens when a fire truck tries to get in to put it out.

HA HA!!!!!!!!

Welcome to the city of liberal entitlement!!  This is a great example of life imitating art.  A shit-hole of a filthy city, ethically and fiscally mismanaged by corrupt liberal a-holes, allowing the self entitled religious “practitioners” to break the law, while other self entitled opportunistic liberal shit-birds take advantage of yet another public opportunity.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out.  Perhaps “Occupy Public Streets Near Churches on Sundays”?  I would pay to see that.  Someone should just take the initiative to slash every tire, of every double parked car on any given Sunday.  THAT would be a poetic solution.  I’ll pay the first person to do it, $100.00 cashola, so you can take that money and run to the nearest “medical marijuana center” to fill your head with even more self entitling bull shit.  What an entertaining city. :-)