San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell Wednesday said he will increase street cleaning funding by $12.8 million in his two-year budget proposal.
Part of Farrell’s proposal includes the hiring of 44 street cleaners — four street cleaners for each district supervisor — and buying new street sweepers.
Farrell said filthy streets plague the entire city:
“Our streets are filthy filled with debris, litter, human waste and drug paraphilia.”
Farrell added that making sure The City’s streets are clean is one of his top priorities:
“A child should not have to walk over a needle on their way to school in the morning. A business owner should never see garbage strewn across the storefront in the morning.”
Additionally, $3.4 million would go towards purchasing new RAVO street sweepers that can also help power wash the streets, as demonstrated by crews from the Department of Public Works at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Persia Street.
Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said cities like Paris, London and Shanghai are using the same equipment to help clean their streets.
With the additional 44 street cleaners, supervisors from each district will be able to tell Nuru which corridors the street cleaners should focus on.
The City is also expanding its Pit Stop program where public bathrooms are available in known parts of The City where human waste and urine are a problem. The bathrooms also provide a place for people to dispose used needles or to get a bag to pick their dog poop.
Farrell said part of his budget proposal includes adding five new Pit Stops and increasing the hours at five existing locations.
Supervisor Jane Kim, who launched the program in her district in the Tenderloin neighborhood, said:
“At every block that we have put a Pit Stop in we’ve had a reduction in steam cleaning requests in that area.”
Kim’s proposal of a $1.1 million budget supplemental was narrowly passed by the Board of Supervisors 6-5 but Farrell vetoed the supplemental because of his plan.
The news of more funding for street funding came as Farrell announced on Monday that there will be a dedicated team focused on picking up used needles and syringes on the street under a contract with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
Farrell has until June 1 to submit his proposed budget to the board.