My engagement to improve cleanliness at BART's transit hub at 16th Street began two-years ago. I recently queried my opponents, Gwyneth Borden and Bevan Dufty, about their record to clean up the plaza over this time, if they're taking steps now or will before the race is over.
The goal is to give voters more info about our past and present work on the critical issue of public health at this heavily-used hub.
Bevan replied today and I asked Gwyneth to get back to me by noon tomorrow, Wednesday. Hope she sends me responses to share. Here is the Q and A with Bevan:
1) Either as the homeless adviser to Mayor Ed Lee or a private citizen, did you address public health matters at the 16th Street plazas for your target population or request actions such as establishing the Pit Stop program or reopening the toilets on the concourse level?
Bevan: I championed the opening of the SF Navigation Center on Mission Street, less than a half block from the 16th Street BART Plazas. One of the first individuals to move into the Navigation Center was an individual who was maintaining 6-9 shopping carts with possessions on the Plaza. We have definitely had an impact providing an exit for many individuals who were homeless near the BART Plaza and that has improved the situation, although much remains to be done. The Pit Stop is a very positive step towards improving the cleanliness of the Plaza and staffing the JCDecaux public toilet, If I am elected BART Director, it is my plan to have a stakeholder process that brings together everyone concerned with the Plaza and to develop a consensus plan to address many for eh issues you have effectively raised.
2) Have you recently or in the time you were the homeless adviser, requested better sanitary conditions at the plazas?
Bevan: Yes, I was in regular discussion with Larry Stringer, the Deputy Director of Public Works, about clean ups in and around the BART Plaza areas. The neighborhood welcomed the Navigation Center and, because of that, I felt a responsibility to advocate for cleanings and the presence of community-oriented police officers to create a cleaner more welcoming area.
3) Steps are needed now to improve those conditions. Do you intend to take action with the agencies for more cleanings before November 8th?
Bevan: Right now, I'm a candidate, Because of your unique approach to campaigning for office, you are able to advocate for an agenda and engage with departments. As a long-time City employee, I do not feel as comfortable requesting services as a candidate for BART Director. The election is less than 50 days away and I intend to roll up my sleeves and focus on these issues at all six stations in BART District 9.