Civic Center BART Gets Cleaned Up

A walk through Civic Center BART is typically scary, weird and sad with homeless people sleeping against the walls, sitting quietly, or doing drugs.

Yes drugs.

But San Francisco’s Outgoing Mayor, Mark Farrell, and SFPD Chief Tony Scott have pledged to clean up the place with police monitoring and needle kiosks to cut down on open drug use.

Mayor Farrell promised that the police, BART, and city services would reduce open drug use and clean up debris and waste at the station “while ensuring that our at-risk individuals receive the services and support they need,” SF Curbed reports.

A shocking video aired by CBS KPIX 5 News caused wide-spread attention to the troubled BART station. The video shows junkies openly doing drugs in a long narrow hallway, like a scene in an apocalyptic movie. “Every day. Every morning. 5:30 to 6 o’clock. You can see there’s dozens of them. Needles everywhere. Crack. Heroin.” Watch the video here:

“The conditions at the Civic Center Station are unacceptable,” said Farrell in a statement. “The corridors are unhealthy and unsanitary—our transit passengers, commuters and families deserve better. By working in close partnership with BART, we will make our transit station clean and safe, while ensuring that our at-risk individuals receive the services and support they need on their path to wellness and recovery.”

San Francisco Police said it would dedicate 290 extra officer hours per week to patrol Civic Center Station, quadrupling the existing level. BART Police would also increase its patrol staffing levels inside the station.

“We need collaborative approaches like this one which bring together our public health and safety agencies to implement creative and compassionate solutions to get those struggling with mental health and challenges with addiction the housing and support they need while also improving public safety.”

Separately, BART is providing $1.6 million to fund homeless outreach teams, elevator attendants  and other initiatives at other downtown San Francisco stations.

Source: SF Curbed

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