Concessions in Parks (Again)
The San Francisco Examiner reports again on “neighbors” being irked by food concessions in local parks.
As the article points out, it is not really neighbors who make most of the noise but local businesses that fear competition.
These concessions create jobs. This particular concession is actually part of a jobs incubator program. And more than that – they create safer and better parks. One of the best ways to make a park safe is to make sure there is always some responsible individual there keeping an eye on things. With cutbacks, we have been losing park staff. These concessions put “eyes on the street” that do make the parks safer. They also create a small amount of revenue for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, but that’s really just the icing on the cake.
I wish the Rec and Park staff would push back with some basic retail theory here. Safer and better parks make a neighborhood a more attractive place to visit and shop. These concessions don’t cost the local merchants business – they create more business.