Monday, June 30, 2014

Muni Must Rid BART Plaza Bus Shelters of Pigeon Poop

My campaign to improve the public health at BART's two plazas at 16th and Mission Streets is now in its third week and takes a new turn.

As you know, last week at my urging the Department of Public Works began steam cleaning the filthy and disease-carrying pigeon poop off the sidewalks and other surfaces, and the Department of Public Health has begun an environmental review of the plazas.

Despite numerous emails to BART officials, and promises back that they would put in writing what actions they were taking to clean up the unsanitary conditions, I've received no substantive responses along the lines of what DPW and DPH have put in writing.

You may be wondering why I am so concerned with these plazas, when they are outside District 8 and what this all has to do with my Supervisorial campaign. Thousands of D8 residents daily use the plazas, which is one reason to make this a campaign issue, and also all Supervisors regardless of which district they represent are tasked with maintaining clean public transit hubs.

The following letter was sent today to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, requesting Muni do its part to restore the plazas to a better state:

Dear SF MTA Director Ed Reiskin and Board Chairman Tom Nolan,

It's come to my attention that your agency has been derelict in properly maintaining clean your public property in the BART plazas at 16th and Mission Streets. Let's look at the photographic documentation I gathered today.

This image shows the street and traffic signs streaked with pigeon fecal matter, the top of the red plastic caked with poop and two Muni users waiting for the 22 bus to arrive. In my estimation, this deplorable and hazardous health menace has existed for quite some time. I do not believe Muni has been diligently inspecting this bus shelter and all of its signage in the plazas.

Also in desperate need of cleaning are the backs of a traffic signal, sign and pole located a few feet away from the bus shelter, closer to Mission Street. The SF MTA's shelter and signs abut the north west BART plaza.

Across the street, the south east plaza's bus shelter also shows evidence that it's not been washed in some time and has bird poop on top and down the side, and needs a good cleaning.

I don't know which City agency is responsible for studying the feasibility of placing anti-pigeon spiked wires or strips of pepper-flecked repellent tape on the hard and soft overhead poles, wires, signs and cables, but I am requesting that you look into the spikes and tape as a preventive measure.

This letter is being copied to DPW and DPH in the hope that those agencies and yours can immediately come together and coordinate an effective plan for minimizing the various public health risks at the plaza, reducing the nesting and defecating of the pigeons and not allowing these public spaces to become bastions of filth.

Please let me know by the close of business on July 1 what actions you will direct the SF MTA to take this week to address my concerns.

Michael Petrelis

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