A taco truck that has found a home in Dolores Park may soon be on the street if efforts to codify complaints about commercializing the park move forward.
A proposal by Supervisor Scott Wiener would move the food truck from within the park to its periphery, where 19th Street dead-ends into the park. Wiener described the measure as a compromise between community members who believe that food trucks commercialize The City’s few bastions of nature and the Recreation and Park Department, which wants to collect permit fees from food trucks.
“Personally, I don’t have a problem with there being a food truck in the park.” Wiener said. “However, there are quite a few folks who do. This to me is a good compromise — basically it will be right on the edge of the park, but not in it.”
The measure would transfer ownership of that portion of the street from the Department of Public Works to the parks department, which would enable the parks department to move the truck to the street while retaining the permit revenue that it generates. Although the measure would not require the department to relocate the cart, Wiener said both departments are on board with the idea.
La Cocina’s Chaac-Mool opened in Dolores Park in the spring, after obtaining a permit to serve up tacos, gorditas and other traditional Mayan savories.
Since then, the truck has received mixed reactions from community members, some of whom complain that putting food trucks in the park will ruin its character.
“We didn’t want the park commercialized,” said Robert Brust, a founder of the park advocacy group Dolores Park Works. “If they started selling off pieces of the park and renting it out, it would ruin its character.”
Brust was among the opponents who proposed the idea of moving the truck to the street, Wiener said.
Others aren’t convinced the truck should go.
“There’s no reason it shouldn’t be here,” said David Maldonado, as he waited for a torta outside the truck Saturday afternoon. “I think it’s nice that it’s here.”
Maldonado, 28, of San Francisco, said he stops for a bite every time he comes to Dolores Park, a couple of times a month.
Wiener’s proposal is more of a conflict-mitigation measure than a blueprint for how to handle food trucks in the park. Only one truck would fit at the 19th Street dead end, but Wiener said he is not aware of any plans to bring more trucks to Dolores Park.
“I don’t mind, but I’d probably never eat there. Look, there is so much other food around here. It would bother me if it were a McDonald’s.” — Lori Nguyen, 24
“I’m fine with it. If it’s local they should be cool with it. If it’s across the street, it’s still at the park. It’s not like it’s a Starbucks.” — Mike Beccarelli, 24
“It’s OK with me. I’ve gotten their agua fresca. I don’t think it’s any different than any other place. They are part of that collective thing, right?” — Sophie Bibas, 25
— Mike Koozmin