Broadway safety plan targets lighting, loitering

More lighting will be installed within the darker areas of Broadway — along with surveillance cameras and “no loitering” signs — as part of an effort to make the nightlife corridor safer.

The plan announced Thursday is a response to an uptick in nightclub-related crime in recent years and involved input from residents, merchants, nightclub owners, law enforcement agencies and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, whose district includes the North Beach strip.

To put a stop to the club-related brawls and debauchery, the plan calls for appropriate security staffing at nightclubs, the hiring of only reputable promoters and the enforcement of dress codes.

It also recommends installing an emergency texting alert system and disaster procedures for all businesses.

Some safety measures are already in effect, according to District Attorney George Gascón.

There are fewer “irresponsible” nightclub operators along the corridor, Gascón said, and owners of the party buses that many have blamed for the crime uptick are now informing SFPD about their schedule so officers can be prepared for their arrival.

Additionally, police are processing suspects more quickly in a sheriff’s van that is parked in the area during peak nightlife hours. That frees more officers to manage the large crowds in the area.

The improvements have led to a decrease in calls for service, Gascón said.

“I want to acknowledge that none of this surge of focus on Broadway would have been possible except for the extraordinary dedication and tenacity of the neighborhood’s residents, businesses and property owners,” Chiu said in a statement.

A massive brawl in February that erupted after the Broadway clubs had closed played a part in the call for safety changes.

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