Thursday, October 13, 2016

Productive Public Health Tour of 16th St Plaza, BART = MIA

Let's give a round of applause to the eleven folks who participated in my public health tour today of BART's 16th Street Plaza. It was a very productive 45-minutes.

We had three representatives from the Department of Public Health, one from Public Works, three from the police department, one from the SFMTA's signage division, two from Clear Channel and a supervisor of the Pit Stop program.

Also present was reporter Joe Rivano Barros from the Mission Local news site, who should a story up in the coming days.

Public Works is power-washing BART's property, because the agency is derelict in maintaining their plaza, creating a schedule of regular scrubbing of the yellow ADA bump mats at the corners and the layers of bird crap on the sidewalks and street pavement nearby among other sanitation tasks.

The health officials took lots of notes and photos, asked for suggestions promising a followup meeting to move good ideas forward.

Clear Channel is committed to frequently washing the bus shelters and of course would have less to do if the birds weren't defecating by the hundreds. Netting they placed on top of the bus shelters is not keeping the poop away and makes it harder for them to be washed.

The police brought up enforcement issues related to feeding birds and folks who pee or poop on the plaza. One officer suggested trying pigeon reflector device on or near the cables. That's how pigeon abatement is practiced at the new SFPD headquarters, they said.

The SFMTA rep said they're looking at installing pigeon spikes on their lamp posts, making for fewer spots for birds to land.

Please note that BART didn't participate and claimed, without any proof, that they are supposedly under-staffed.

This was the same excuse BART management used in September to avoid an inspection tour just for myself their customer service director Julie Yim. She today said she may, no firm commitment, schedule a tour in late November.

The failure of BART to send anyone and not make any commitment to joining this collaborative effort, which will continue, is sadly emblematic of BART's overall approach of disengagement regarding sanitation at this transit hub.

If BART managers decide to change and work with myself and the six agencies, we'd welcome their new approach. It is, after all, their plaza we are trying to make better for all users.

I feel a major step forward, building on months of my advocacy, was accomplished today that will lead to greater sanitation at the BART plazas. Big thanks to all the folks who joined the tour and are working toward better public health and public safety at 16th and Mission Streets!

In the photo from the tour, starting on the left is Darryl Dilworth of Public Works, Karen Cohn and Tomas Aragon of DPH and yours truly. Appearance of these public servants in the pic is not and does not imply an endorsement of my campaign for the BART board.

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