San Francisco continues to struggle with dirt. Schmutz. Smell. And the drought is making it worse, with water-use restrictions making it a no-no to wash sidewalks unless absolutely necessary. It’s all made worse by the after effects of the Great Recession, which left city cleaning crews short-staffed.
The mayor has proposed increasing the cleaning staff, and Supervisor Scott Wiener says in recent years “we’ve been restoring that staffing and increasing the number of crews dedicated to cleaning. In several budget cycles, I obtained funding for additional cleaning crews, including around transit stations, and this year Mayor Edwin M. Lee proposed a significant cleaning crew enhancement in the budget. Keeping San Francisco clean isn’t easy, but it’s important. We need to do more, and we are moving in that direction.”
A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle quoted a visitor from Portland, Oregon, who called San Francisco “gross…. We have been places that just smell rancid. There’s trash and homeless people everywhere. It has negatively impacted how I feel about this city. Our streets don’t look like this in Portland.”