March 4, 2024

Community News

Early Signs of Public Safety and Street Conditions Improvements in San Francisco
January 26, 2024

Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Community Spotlight ~San Francisco ~Dallas ~

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Friday, January 26, 2024  
Contact: Mayor’s Press Office, mayorspressoffice@sfgov.org  
 
***PRESS RELEASE***
MISSION CORRIDOR STREET VENDING MORATORIUM SHOWS EARLY PROGRESS ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND STREET CONDITION IMPROVEMENTS
Since the moratorium took effect last November, the Mission Street commercial corridor saw a decrease in calls related to violent crimes and theft, improved street conditions, and broad support from businesses  
 
San Francisco, CA – The Street Vending Moratorium enacted in the Mission Street corridor has shown early progress in addressing public safety challenges and unsafe street conditions.
The City issued a temporary moratorium on Mission Street on November 27, 2023, as the result of unprecedented safety concerns due to unauthorized vending and illegal activities which have been negatively impacting small business owners, permitted vendors, Mission residents, and visitors along one of the City’s busiest transit corridors.
The unpermitted activities involved fencing, the sale of stolen items, inaccessible sidewalks, and other hazards that have created a harmful environment in the area, not only for residents and business owners, but also for City Public Works inspectors who are leading enforcement efforts with support from the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD).
In the nine weeks since the moratorium took effect, the area has seen a:
  • 30% decrease in incidents of assaults and robberies combined
Surveyed businesses in the Mission area also reported improvements:
  • 56% of businesses feel the Mission Street Corridor is safer
  • 67% of businesses have seen a positive change on Mission Street
During this time, Public Works and SFPD have focused efforts to enforce the ban on street vending to ensure safer, cleaners streets for residents, businesses and visitors.  
The City has also dedicated resources to support permitted street vendors through the Office of Economic Workforce and Development (OEWD) to ensure they have access to wraparound support services, including workforce training and placement, marketing support, and emergency relief funds for low-income households. Vendors are also matched to existing resources based on their individual needs.
“Every day we are making progress on our efforts to deliver safer and cleaner streets across the City,” said Mayor London Breed. “For a long time, the Mission has been dealing with serious challenges around unpermitted street vending and surrounding illegal behavior, which was hurting residents, merchants, City workers, and the entire neighborhood. By taking action in the neighborhood, we’re creating a cleaner, safer Mission Street. I want to thank our City Departments, community partners, residents, and business owners for coming together around this issue and working to deliver results for the Mission.”
 
 “Our goal has always been to make Mission Street safe and accessible for everyone in our community – our mom-and-pop shops, families, street vendors, and transit riders," said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “We’ve made important public safety gains in the last two months and we’re committed to staying the course until conditions change for good.”  
"The SFPD will continue to support Public Works and our other city partners in their work making Mission Street safer, cleaner and more accessible to the community," said Chief Bill Scott. "I'm encouraged by the progress we've made, and I want to thank our officers who are doing this important work every day."
Results Show Public Safety and Street Conditions Improvements  
Since the moratorium went into effect in November, SFPD and Public Works reported significant improvements on Mission Street between 14th and Cesar Chavez streets.
 
The data suggests that the temporary vending ban is leading to reductions in reported crime and improvements to public safety and, as a result, helping deter criminal activity.
 
Results from SFPD for the date range of October 16, 2023 to November 27, 2023 (prior to the moratorium) compared to November 27, 2023 through January 15, 2024 (after the moratorium) include:
  • 30% combined decrease in assaults and robbery incidents
    • 22% decrease in assault incidents  
    • 46% decrease in robbery incidents
Beginning in 2022, Public Works ramped up street cleaning efforts to help address deteriorating street conditions and enforcement to curb illegal fencing around the 16 and 24th Street BART Plazas and adjacent areas. While cleaning efforts have been ongoing prior to the moratorium, Public Works reported a:
  • 23% decrease for in 311 service requests for street cleaning
“The temporary moratorium has brought measurable improvements to street conditions along the Mission Street corridor, mitigating hazards and elevating public safety,” said Public Works Director Carla Short. “It took collaboration with City departments and community partners to get us to this point and now is not the time to stop the progress.”
Since the moratorium was announced, the City has supported previously permitted street vendors in the enforcement area. The plan included the opening of El Tiangue and La Placita, two temporary spaces with community partners Clecha and Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, where permitted street vendors have been able to sell goods and products. In addition, OEWD, Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), Bay Area Community Resources (BACR), and the Latino Task Force (LTF) continue to connect vendors to existing City resources as well as small business and workforce opportunities.
 
"I feel more secure in El Tiangue, protected from rain and sun and many things outside,” said Maria Huacal Magan, owner of Jorge and Maria’s Toy Land, street vendors at El Tiangue “Unfortunately, we don't sell like we used to on the street, but we understand that there are laws that need to be followed…yes, there are days where we do good and days where business is a bit slower."
Small Business Survey Results Show Support for Street Vending Moratorium and Satisfaction of Street Conditions
Outreach teams, led by OEWD, conducted surveys between January 12-23, 2024 that included the participation of 192 merchants on and surrounding the Mission Street commercial corridor.
 
The majority of businesses have seen a positive change on Mission Street including improvement of safety and cleanliness, and also expressed support for the moratorium. The survey was also shared with local merchant groups. Results show:
  • 76% feel the moratorium on Mission Street should continue  
  • 56% of businesses feel the Mission Street Corridor is safer
  • 67% of businesses have seen a positive change on Mission Street
  • 73% of businesses have noticed a significant improvement in walking in or around the BART plazas  
  • 40% of businesses reported an increase in foot traffic  
“We feel that the vending ban has made the streets surrounding our business feel safer,” said Vanessa Porras and Dolores Ruiz, owners of Born Again Thrift. “Although we support the vendors, we also want to find a medium which supports the vendors while keeping our streets safe in the community.”
“The two Bart Plazas are clean and the Santana mural on 24th Street is important to the business (our name is on the plaque) -- it is a place for tourists to take photos and it is a proud symbol for the community,” said Carmen Elias, with La Mejor Bakery. "Maintaining the plaza and mural clean has helped La Mejor’s business. The sidewalks are accessible and my customers are happy, saying they enjoy walking on Mission Street again. The families and children coming from the nearby schools feel safe walking in the neighborhood. My business closes late and now my employees and I feel safer operating in the evening time. It has been positive for the business, my customers, and the neighborhood.”
Prior to the moratorium’s implementation, Mayor Breed’s and Supervisor Ronen’s offices, and various City agencies worked collaboratively to devise comprehensive ways to mitigate concerns from the community and permitted vendors while protecting the health and wellbeing of the larger Mission community. The interventions, planned with community input, included extensive outreach and education, supportive and technical services, street vending guidelines and permitting requirements.
 
The rules, regulations, and guidelines of this moratorium and information on permitted street vending activities can be found under the Department of Public Works directive, here.  
 
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