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Old 02-06-2014, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
Reputation: 26676

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I thought this was just really interesting. It is a local story, but there could be lessons for lots of places.

So the "Tenderloin" area of San Francisco is the part not on the post cards. It has concentrated homelessness, drug dealing, drug abuse and poverty. It is also one of the senses portions of SF, filled with SROs, immigrants and halfway houses.

Basically, you don't really want to walk in this area (and it is adjacent to the tourist areas, so you can easily accidentally wander in the neighborhood.)

So it looks like the city did an experiment, and removed the street parking/meters on one of the worst blocks in the area. The impact was amazing!

Quote:
"I can't tell you how many times I've walked right through a drug deal," says Gail Seagraves, a seven-year Tenderloin resident. "You see people shooting up. They don't care."

Until now. Within the past week there's been a minor miracle along the start of Turk.

.....

Beginning last Friday, both sides of the street in that block of Turk became a no-parking zone. The absence of cars, which used to pull up and linger all day, has changed everything.

"The drug dealers would hide behind the cars," Seagraves said. "It's like a screen. The day (the no-parking debut) happened, we noticed it right away."

Tenderloin police Capt. Jason Cherniss supported the idea wholeheartedly. Since he took over the station last May, he has been an advocate for the effects of environmental design on crime. He took some heat last summer for pushing for the removal of a bus shelter at Eddy and Leavenworth that was a haven for dealers. This, he says, is another good example.

"The hope is the removal of any geographic inconvenience will establish some public safety," he said. "With the (parked) vans and cars, dealers can't be seen."
Banning parking on Tenderloin block drives trouble away - SFGate

It turns out, the cars made it easy for the dealers to "hide in plain sight." But now, with no cars, they have nowhere to hid.

Obviously, this didn't eliminate the dealers, I am sure they moved over to the next block. But it does illustrate the whole "eyes on the street" idea of public safety. Increasing visibility for people who live on the street can make a huge difference.

This area can use any little improvements they can get.

**Yup I hav seen drug use and drug deals pretty much every time I have walked through the area, it is very depressing.
***It is good to note, this area has the lowest car ownership in SF (like 80-90% of people don't have cars in the neighborhood), and well parking on the street sucks, lots of car break-ins. You really didn't want to park on this block...unless you were looking for drugs.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,093 posts, read 16,130,435 times
Reputation: 12690
At least when I lived there, they just stood out in front of a liquor store a block from the fancy schmancy City Centre Mall. The cops just didn't care. As long as you're not doing business past Mason they didn't hassle you. It was always worst on the nights there was a concert at the Warfield. I just avoided the street. How much of it is getting rid of cars vs the fact that there's now apparently officers who go down Turk Street? I don't know. Before I wised up and just went a block over drug deals were far from inconspicuous.

It's also a little bit like squeezing a balloon. It just picks up and moves to another street. And like you mentioned, no way I'd park my car there unattended for any appreciable period of time. It's really the only part of the 'Loin that really did scare me. A block up it entirely changes, plus there's a parking garage there. I mean, you still have your SROs and the homeless, but that one block of Turk was basically the "free zone." Aside from the homeless, no one there had any legitimate business being there. One of the liquor stores had numerous citations for selling to minors and was shut down by ABC while I was there.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:28 PM
 
9,522 posts, read 14,877,980 times
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Yeah, it's probably not the lack of parking, it's all the cops around to ticket people for parking anyway.

But hatred for the automobile is part of the modern urbanist gestalt.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,432 posts, read 59,966,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Obviously, this didn't eliminate the dealers, I am sure they moved over to the next block. B
Well, then, the problem hasn't been solved, has it?
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Well, then, the problem hasn't been solved, has it?

No of course not. But it is a pretty big change for that neighborhood. They didn't bother to enforce any laws about open air drug use and dealing.

Of course SF is liberal about people using marijuana in public, but the stuff happening here was a lit harder. And "moving" the problem helps on a lot of levels. Like I mentioned, it is around the corner from the tourist area, and I didn't mention that is around the corner from the theater district. It also improved quality of life for the people on that block.

And if the dealers want to change their ways, that neighborhood houses all of the social services.

You have to be thankful for small improvements when they come. We aren't magically going to end drug use in the tenderloin overnight, but this is a first step....with a fairly minor impact on everyone else, and a huge impact on the residents of the neighborhood.

I am sure 90% of the time those parking spaces were used by the drug dealers.....
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Yeah, it's probably not the lack of parking, it's all the cops around to ticket people for parking anyway.

But hatred for the automobile is part of the modern urbanist gestalt.
SF is pretty anti-car. But if any section of SF should be anti-car it is that one. No residents drive, and it is one of the most dangerous sections for pedestrians (in a neighborhood full of walkers). There have been like 3 pedestrian deaths in the past 4 weeks in that area.

This loss of parking surely doesn't impact "normal" people, as you wouldn't park there at all...on purpose...it is way too sketchy. Most of the parkers are definitely drug dealers on that block.

Last edited by jade408; 02-06-2014 at 01:15 PM..
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,093 posts, read 16,130,435 times
Reputation: 12690
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
SF is pretty anti-car. But if any section of SF should be anti-ca it is that one. No residents drive, and it is one of the most dangerous sections for pedestrians (in a neighborhood full of walkers). There have been like 3 pedestrian deaths in the past 4 weeks in that area.

This loss of parking surely doesn't impact "normal" people, as you wouldn't park there at all...on purpose...it is way too sketchy. Most of the parkers are definitely drug dealers on that block.
It's also a good neighborhood to get carjacked in.

It's kind of like how you drive in South America when someone jumps out in front of you. Aim towards 'em and hit the gas. I'm exaggerating slightly. It isn't as bad as it is in the South America, but I'd definitely be looking for an out that didn't involve stopping there.

Or buyers, Jade.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
Reputation: 26676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
It's also a good neighborhood to get carjacked in.

It's kind of like how you drive in South America when someone jumps out in front of you. Aim towards 'em and hit the gas. I'm exaggerating slightly. It isn't as bad as it is in the South America, but I'd definitely be looking for an out that didn't involve stopping there.

Or buyers, Jade.
Right! All in all people you don't really want to be stopping on your street..... most people have absolutely no business stopping on that street unless they were up to no good...
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,432 posts, read 59,966,193 times
Reputation: 54095
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
And "moving" the problem helps on a lot of levels.
Doesn't help the people who live on the streets where the dealers moved to, does it?

Talk about NIMBY ...
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
Reputation: 26676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Doesn't help the people who live on the streets where the dealers moved to, does it?

Talk about NIMBY ...
Hmm...well the context you don't know about is that the people on that street are among the poorest in SF and the most impacted by the drug dealers on their street. So I am glad those people had the opportunity to be NIMBYs. Nimby-ism usually reeks of class privilege, and the people on that block have negative class privilege. That neighborhood gets almost all of the SROs, halfway houses, homeless transitioning housing, subsidized housing and basically every other social service in the entire city of SF. Good thing one block got to move a little of that out of their neighborhood. They already have way more than their fair share of social problems and social welfare systems.

The average income in that area is $23K. The average income in SF is $70k, and that isn't enough for a single to rent a studio apartment in most of SF (Those clock in an average of about $3000 right now).

Its a good thing the poorest residents of SF got to be NIMBYs for once!!!!
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