Tenderloin bus stop under fire for sheltering drunks, druggies in San Francisco 

Everyone appears to agree that a bus stop shelter at Turk and Hyde streets — located just feet from a children’s playground — is an outrageous haven for drunks and crack dealers.

But there is division in the community on what to do about the bus stop from hell.

Some folks want to rip out the bus shelter so that criminals have nowhere to hide. Opponents of that idea say seniors and the disabled would be inconvenienced.

Muni riders need to be able to sit down and have shelter from the rain, community activist David Villa Lobos said.

The bus stop serves the 31-Balboa line, which accounts for 99 daily boardings. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency calls the stop a key transfer point to the 19-Polk line, which stops around the corner on Hyde Street.

Villa Lobos supports a proposal to replace the shelter with one of the newer versions popping up around The City, which have better lighting and offer more visibility.

Randy Shaw, executive director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, says a new shelter is not needed because there is another bus stop nearby. He said the stop is not necessary.

“Why do we need two bus stops in the same block?” he said.

Shaw said tenants living across the street are fed up with the criminals hawking crack “right next to a tot lot.”

He added the cash-strapped SFMTA should put its money for capital projects elsewhere.

In 2007, the Hyde Street bus stop around the corner from the troubled shelter was torn out for the same reason — it was next to the children’s park and attracted crime.

All parties appear to agree that removing the Hyde shelter helped ease criminal activity.

However, Villa Lobos said the needs of seniors and the disabled must be considered. Modern bus shelters and better policing of the area is a more viable solution, he said.

At a community meeting at the Tenderloin Police Station this past week, SFMTA officials listened to possible solutions.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the transit agency is mulling the options and will make a decision based upon community feedback.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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