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Rose Pak Subway Station

Construction of the Chinatown station in April 2019; the station will now be named after the late activist and political power broker Rose Pak. Photo: Pi.14159265

Political power broker Rose Pak was controversial in life, and she remains so in death. Despite repeated protests by opponents, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Board of Directors voted in mid-August to name a subway station after Pak. (See “Rose Pak Subway Station?” News Briefs, Marina Times, June 2019) The 4–3 vote came after a vote in June failed in a 3–3 tie. The deciding vote was cast by new board member Steve Heminger, who agreed that Pak was controversial, but so are other leaders who have been honored in the city.

The naming of the station is a departure from traditional SFMTA policy, which names stations based on location and not after people. But District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin pushed to name the Chinatown station after Pak, who supported his bid to return to the Board of Supervisors. As the San Francisco Examiner’s Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez reported, the plan was supported by such influential organizations as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the API Council, and Chinatown TRIP. Opposition came from some local businesses in the Chinatown Merchants Association, the influential Chinese Six Companies, and the controversial religious movement Falun Gong.

The Central Subway is already a year behind its originally planned opening, with some experts warning it might not become a reality until the middle of 2020.

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