Tourist time conjures up images of our other life away from oppressive bosses, dead-end jobs, house cleaning chores and the like.
It is a window of time where we can feel rich and free as we expand our spending budgets on the fun and frivolous.
When we are traveling on vacation we want to escape reality.
Sounds good right?
Nothing brings us back to reality faster than the experience of walking down one dirty street after another which unfortunately is a consistent experience in one of the most desired tourist destinations in the world, San Francisco.
Please don’t get us wrong. Super clean cities do exist. The global information source theguardian.com shares, “According to the 2014 Mercer Global Financial list of the world’s cleanest cities, Calgary, Canada’s oil capital was top of the cleanliness pile, followed by Adelaide, Honolulu, Minneapolis and Kobe.”
Having spent extensive time in Kobe, we certainly can agree with that assessment.
San Francisco has the reputation for displaying so many wonderful historic and unique sights so making the streets cleaner is understandably a top priority.
The San Francisco Public Works Department honors those who contribute. At sfpublicworks.org they admonish, “National Public Works Week is a time when Public Works demonstrates what “public works” means. We take a week in the spring to celebrate accomplishments and milestones. We host activities that reinforce partnerships with San Francisco residents, community organizations, and volunteers.
During Public Works Week, the City honors the professional and committed women and men who make daily contributions to public works-related efforts that include designing, operating and improving the City’s infrastructure; graffiti removal, tree planting and maintenance; neighborhood beautification and volunteer clean-ups; street and sewer repair; architecture and engineering services; job training; and street use and mapping services.
Public Works Week in San Francisco is a chance to commend the men and women of San Francisco Public Works and the people they serve, as we work alongside San Francisco residents, neighborhood associations, community nonprofits and merchant organizations to enhance the quality of life in San Francisco.”
Good ideas are always welcome.
“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.”… Marie Kondo
Execution of those ideas are not always easy or sustainable in the long-term.
It is worth the effort since the financial impact of dirty streets can be financially devastating.
On July 3, 2018, as reported at nbcbayarea.com, “Hosting conventions is a lucrative business for San Francisco, bringing in about $2 billion each year. However, the amount of trash, feces, and used drug needles scattered throughout the city’s streets and sidewalks is making it harder to convince companies to return to San Francisco.”
For the first time, according to Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association, a convention has decided to cancel future events in San Francisco, specifically citing the city’s “dirty streets” and “unsafe” atmosphere.
With 15,000 conference attendees, that cancellation alone cost San Francisco an estimated $40 million dollars.
Never under estimate the power of determination and as we know, San Francisco is a very resilient city.
San Francisco’s newly elected Mayor, Ms. London Breed, is making the cleaning up of San Francisco’s streets a major priority.
How important was this issue to San Francisco voters?
It was one of the most touted promises that virtually all of the mayoral candidates were promising during the campaign race.
Ms. Breed intends to follow through.
Here is one of the latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed released on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
MAYOR LONDON BREED ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL BUDGET INVESTMENTS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANING PROGRAMS
Roughly $725,000 added to budget to help Fix-It Team address cleanliness and quality-of-life concerns in San Francisco communities
San Francisco, CA– Mayor London N. Breed today proposed roughly $725,000 in additional investments to support the City’s Fix-It Team, a multiagency unit that focuses on improving cleanliness and quality-of-life in San Francisco neighborhoods.
“Ensuring that our streets are clean and safe is a basic duty of city government and it’s clear that the City must do a better job,” said Mayor London Breed. “This proposal will expand street cleaning, add more trashcans throughout the city and increase public safety.”
The two-year budget amendment announced by Mayor Breed will further benefit the Fix-It Team, which quickly responds to quality-of-life concerns, such as graffiti, broken streetlights and unpainted curbs in local communities. The Fix-It Team is in the process of increasing from 29 zones to 35 zones, further offering assistance to communities across San Francisco. The funding increases were determined based on the needs that residents have identified.
“The Fix-It team has a proven track record of working closely with constituents to make our streets cleaner and safer,” said Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen. “I’ve seen their responsiveness and effectiveness across District 10 and across San Francisco. I am thrilled to see this expanded investment in clean and healthy streets.”
The additional budget investments will provide $250,000 to the Downtown Streets Team, a unit comprised of formerly homelessness individuals that works with the Fix-It Team on street cleaning programs. Mayor Breed’s budget will also feature $75,000 to support the installation of 20 new BigBelly bins—containers that use real-time technology and automatic compactors, allowing them to hold five times more waste than a regular receptacle.
In addition, $100,000 will be included to add fencing around public parking lots, helping to reduce incidents of vandalism and graffiti, and $15,000 will be added to install solar-powered motion-detection lights for 300 households, creating better illumination for streets and sidewalks.
The additional budget investments will also support increased video surveillance systems for Community Benefit Districts, as a way to discourage public dumping, and provide funding for new locks on residential trash bins for approximately 200 households throughout San Francisco.
“Since Fix-It began in 2016, we have visited 29 neighborhoods, interacted with more than 1,300 residents and completed 3,800 fixes,” said Fix-It Director Sandra Zuniga. “This investment will strengthen our ability to respond to issues across the city in a timely, effective manner.”
The Mayor’s proposed amendments will be presented later today at the Board of Supervisors, when the Board is scheduled to have a first reading of the budget.
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