Mayor Mark Farrell Combats Street Conditions with Nearly $13 Million in New Citywide Investments to Clean Communities
Responding to public outcry, Mayor Mark Farrell today announced nearly $13 million in new investments for street cleaning during the next two years, including dedicated teams to concentrate on issues in every City district.
Mayor Farrell will expand the City’s staffed public toilet program, increasing hours at five existing locations and funding the creation of five new facilities. Earlier this week, Mayor Farrell announced the creation of a new rapid response team specifically for syringe cleanup.
“Every day I hear from residents, visitors and business owners who are complaining about street cleanliness—we are taking decisive measures now to fix those problems,” said Mayor Farrell. “This is an issue that affects communities across San Francisco and it is unacceptable. We will combat the cleanliness problems plaguing our streets, and we will do so in an aggressive, targeted and smart manner.”
Mayor Farrell’s two-year proposed budget includes $12.8 million in new initiatives. The plan will include funding for 44 new neighborhood cleaning workers, who will be divided evenly among San Francisco’s 11 Supervisorial districts. The workers—called block sweepers—will target corridors in each district most in need of focused cleaning efforts. In addition, Mayor Farrell’s plan will also include funding for a new street cleaning program in the SoMa District that will operate five days a week.
The proposed budget will feature funding for five new Pit Stops, staffed facilities that provide safe and clean public toilets in high-need communities. The Mayor will also expand hours at five existing Pit Stop locations, which have a proven track record of reducing human waste on sidewalks and streets.
Mayor Farrell will complement his expanded staffing efforts with $3.4 million in new equipment investments for the next two fiscal years.
“The increase in manual block sweeping—an initiative that has proven successful in other major cities across the globe—and the expansion of the Pit Stop program will make a meaningful impact on the cleanliness of our neighborhoods,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “The bolstered resources for street cleaning will benefit our residents, workers and visitors here in San Francisco.”
Along with his new budget investments, Mayor Farrell will expand the City’s popular Fix-It Team, a multi-agency unit that quickly responds to quality-of-life concerns, such as graffiti, broken streetlights and unpainted curbs. The Fix-It Team will increase operations from 25 zones to 35 zones, further offering assistance to communities across San Francisco.
“Every community in San Francisco has unique issues, and our Fix-It team is here to address those specific concerns,” said Fix-It Director Sandra Zuniga. “When residents see something wrong, they want it fixed and they want it fixed quickly. We understand that and we are excited to expand our problem-solving efforts to 10 new areas across San Francisco.
These efforts will complement Mayor Farrell’s existing street-cleaning programs, which include a recently-created team that specifically targets discarded needles in local communities. That unit is dispatched to neighborhoods based on resident complaints, providing swift and precise responses to community concerns.
“Our streets are filthy and as a City we can do better,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “The commitment shown in this year’s budget is a strong step in the right direction. I believe with dedication and a strong will we can clean all of our City’s streets.”
“As a longtime resident of San Francisco, I’ve never seen the streets this dirty,” said Supervisor Catherine Stefani. “My constituents in District 2 have made it loud and clear that things need to change. The Department of Public Works has been working hard to meet this challenges, but need these additional funds to address issues throughout the City. I want to thank Mayor Farrell and my colleagues on the Budget and Finance Committee for making this a priority and adding these needed funds.”