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Pub Crawls Roil Union Street

The growing frequency of pub crawls has left Union Street merchants and other locals complaining about the effects of these formerly rare occurrences. What might once have been a group of friends working their way down the street to celebrate a birthday or a major holiday has become a professional effort with an expanding number of companies organizing and promoting pub crawls. That has led to complaints along Union about overcrowding, drunken behavior, vandalism, increased trash, repelling people who might want to be on Union to shop, and a need for more police officers, says Catherine Stefani, legislative aide to Supervisor Mark Farrell.

“It’s not just St. Patrick’s Day anymore,” Stefani told the Marina Times. “It’s the NCAA finals, Halloween and other holidays.” Her office has been working with the city attorney’s office to research various solutions, such as Baltimore and Rhode Island’s consideration of a ban on pub crawls, or other places that have set up a permitting system much like parades, where the organizers need to hire private security and reimburse the city for extra costs.

The supervisor has been reaching out to merchants, residents, bar owners, and the pub crawl companies to get their concerns and try to find solutions that will work for the most people. You can contact Stefani with your thoughts and concerns about the pub crawls at catherine.stefani@sfgov.org.

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