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Farrell unveils $13M spending boost over two years to clean up SF streets

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A San Francisco Public Works compact street sweeper crosses Market Street at Golden Gate Avenue. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Just days after announcing a new dedicated needle litter cleanup team, Mayor Mark Farrell is proposing to increase street cleaning by nearly $12.8 million over the next two years.

That means 44 new street cleaning workers that would be divided up evenly among each of the 11 supervisorial districts, targeting the dirtiest corridors.

The proposal would also expand the Public Works popular portable toilet Pit Stop program, which comes with safe syringe disposals and attendants, by increasing the hours at five existing locations and funding five new Pit Stops.

The plan also includes a new five-day-a-week street cleaning program in the South of Market Area. Additionally, the Public Works’ Fixt-It Team program, which partners city employees with residents for cleanup efforts, will expand from 25 “zones” to 35.

In the current fiscal year, The City has a street cleaning budget of $65.3 million. Farrell’s proposal increases spending on street cleaning programs by $4.7 million and $1.7 million on equipment in each of the next two fiscal years, for a total of $12.8 million.

“Every day I hear from residents, visitors and business owners who are complaining about street cleanliness—we are taking decisive measures now to fix those problems,” Farrell said in a statement.“This is an issue that affects communities across San Francisco and it is unacceptable. We will combat the cleanliness problems plaguing our streets, and we will do so in an aggressive, targeted and smart manner.”

Farrell announced his proposal Wednesday morning at the Persia Triangle in the Excelsior neighborhood at 4650 Mission St.

On Monday, he announced a $750,000 contract with the AIDS Foundation with funding from the Department of Public Health’s current fiscal year budget to create a 10-person team to clean up needle litter in the streets.

Following his announcement, Farrell vetoed Supervisor Jane Kim’ $1.1 million street cleaning budget supplemental approved in a 6-5 vote last week by the Board of Supervisors, instead opting for his own plan.

The mayor must submit a city budget proposal by June 1 to the Board of Supervisors for review and adoption.

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