Saturday, June 14, 2014

Out Traveler Mag: Are SF's BART Plazas Health Hazards?

Needless to say, I am quite pleased the Out Traveler magazine's web site today picked up on my post from yesterday about my complaint to BART leaders and politicians about the filth at a local transit plaza, that I believe is a menace to public health.

Reading the article by Neal Broverman I thought of an additional concern and that is how this BART station is for many out of town visitors arriving from San Francisco International Airport their first sight of our city. Seems to me it's another reason, on top of my health concerns for locals, to demand action from City leaders and BART leaders who are usually so worried about what tourists think of our streets and public spaces.

This additional media attention, I hope, prods the authorities I've petitioned to immediately address the incredibly dirty environment in this area. Sure would also be good to get public accountability as to how they allowed the situation to become so deplorable and unhealthy.

Finally, I very much appreciate the Out Traveler, which is owned by The Advocate media empire and hosted on their well-trafficked site, mentioning my candidacy for the District 8 seat on the Board of Supervisors.

(Trash and pigeon poop piled up next to the handrails of the down escalator at the plaza near the Walgreen's store.)

Give this a read, please:
An out candidate for city supervisor says the BART plaza at 16th and Mission streets is dangerously dirty. Longtime HIV and LGBT activist Michael Petrelis is running for San Francisco's Board of Supervisors and he has the city's notorious 16th and Mission BART plaza in his sights.  
The 16th/Mission Bay Area Rapid Transit station is known as dirty [...], but Petrelis says the state of the station's plaza is endangering public health, specifically for seniors, children, and those with HIV. 
Citing rampant pigeon feces and piles of garbage, Petrelis wrote a letter to city and transit officials demanding they take action and steam clean the area, add "pigeon spikes" to keep birds out, and remove the trash that covers the area. Writing in his blog, Petrelis goes out of his way to differentiate his calls for change from that of local businesses, who he says just want to rid the area of "undesirables." 
What do you think — does San Francisco, which just became an American finalist for the 2024 Olympic Games, need to take action or is this simply a part of urban life?

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