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97 new streetlights illuminate the Tenderloin

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A bright idea

After eight years in the planning stages and $4.25 million in funding by Sutter Health and California Pacific Medical Center, some of the most dodgy parts of the Tenderloin received 97 new streetlights.

The newly installed lights can be found between McAllister and O’Farrell Streets on Larkin, Hyde, Leavenworth, and Jones Streets, as well as on Eddy Street between Larkin and Mason Streets. The lamp design, decidedly not contemporary, mimics the historic style of poles along Taylor Street and Golden Gate Avenue.

Best of all, each lamppost comes with two lights: one that shines onto the street and one that illuminates the sidewalk, which will (fingers crossed) help improve the pedestrian experience in the Tenderloin.

Former Mayor Ed Lee, who died in 2017, sparked the idea for the project in 2011 when CPMC planned on opening a hospital in the area.

“Since taking office, I have been out regularly in the Tenderloin talking to residents and merchants about how we can bring meaningful change and improve public safety for people who live and work in the community,” said Mayor Breed in a written statement. “The increased lighting we are unveiling today is an important project that residents have asked for, and today we are delivering.”

Will this help deter drug dealing and the sundry of assorted crimes in the area? It’s a start. This is just part of the city’s attempt at quelling nefarious issues in the Tenderloin, which, along with SoMa, has been known as safe site for drug dealers. In October, a targeted crackdown on dealing resulted in 84 arrests. But as anyone logged into Citizen can attest, crime in the TL remains a chronic issue.