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City quadruples Tenderloin pressure-washes to scrub feces complaints

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Haney says SF will scrub TL until 2034

Mid-rise buildings in San Francisco. Sanfranman59

On Tuesday, Supervisor Matt Haney said that the city will start pressure washing the sidewalks in the Tenderloin once a week, rather than just once a month, in an effort to clean the vital but consistently befouled neighborhood.

Haney made the announcement at a joint press conference with members of the Tenderloin Community Benefit District, touting it as another in a series of struggles to improve quality of life in the neighborhood.

The extra cleanings will wash every block within an area bounded by Market, Larkin, O’Farrell, and Mason streets. According to the District Six supervisor, the deep cleansing will cost $260,000 annually and will continue weekly until the year 2034.

Following the press conference, the Tenderloin CBD said, “This program is a respite, not the solution,” and pushed for more bathrooms and for more people to clean up after their dogs.

As with Haney’s recent bid to open public bathrooms longer, it’s no secret what’s behind this effort to clean up the Tenderloin’s act: In 2018, SF 311 received 28,315 animal/human waste complaints, of which 3,034 were in the Tenderloin.

This was not the highest number of complaints in the city. In fact, the Mission had more than twice as many calls (7,708).

But the Mission is also more than twice the size of the Tenderloin, and the neighborhood continues to lead in concentration of 311 calls complaining about the most unsightly of problems.

San Francisco feces maps—flawed tools though they may be—persistently show a stain on the Tenderloin’s dignity. In the city’s Street and Sidewalk Maintenance Standards report for 2016 (the most recent one issued), nearly half of the feces-related calls in the city—7,509 out of 15,332—happened in the larger District Six area.