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San Francisco to draw social distancing circles at more parks


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Park workers using the same kind of chalky paint to mark off baseball diamonds draw out circles 10 feet in diameter, spaced eight feet apart. 

On Thursday, they polka dotted Little Marina Green and Washington Square Park.  

Wednesday they gave the lower section of Dolores Park the same treatment.

The city’s rec and park department says they are borrowing the concept from Brooklyn’s Domino Park, giving it a try here as a pilot project.

Putting down these socially distanced circles right before what’s expected to be a warm Memorial Day Weekend is not a coincidence. Especially at Dolores Park, which Mayor Breed threatened to close down earlier this month because of crowds gathering here.

“It was never completely out of hand I have to say, it was not like rowdy us or anything,” Hans Kolbe said. “But they were groups of 10, 15, 20 people who were drinking together.”

Kolbe, who lives nearby, thinks the circles are a much better solution than shutting down a popular park in the dense urban area.

“You go crazy if you stay inside and many people don’t have a garden they live in an apartment building, what are they supposed to do?” Kolbe said. “You need fresh air, you need the green.”

Rec and park says the circles are not meant to be an enforcement tool, but like the signs they have posted, they are just a visual reminder to help people use the parks safely.

Those inside this family circle, like the clarity they bring.

“It’s hard to figure out I think on your own how much space there should be between you and the next blanket or whatever,” Andrea Stern said. “It’s just nice to take the guesswork out of it let people come in find their circle.”

Jackson Park in Potrero Hill will get the circles painted on Friday. The idea is is to put them in place in these four different areas in the city to get a good test of their effectiveness. 

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