The Sidewalk Maintenance Standards report says there appears to be less needles, feces, condoms and glass littering the streets of The City. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

Less needles and feces found on SF streets, but other litter lingers

The number of needles, condoms and feces on San Francisco’s sidewalks decreased in the past year, but The City must still strive to eliminate the presence of such blemishes altogether.

That’s according to the annual Street and Sidewalk Maintenance Standards report for fiscal year 2014-15, released Nov. 23 by the Controller’s Office.

The report indicated that citywide scores measuring the cleanliness and appearance of public streets, sidewalks, trash receptacles, trees and landscaping generally worsened in the past year regarding litter, illegal dumping and certain types of graffiti. But it was also noted that there appears to be less broken glass, feces, condoms and needles, and better maintained tree wells.

The average percent of residential routes that were found to be free of feces, needles and condoms this year was 69 percent, increased from 58 percent the previous year. Commercial routes free of such blights totaled 62 percent this year, up from 55 percent last year. Streets in the Tenderloin and Chinatown were found to have the most of such waste.

The number of sidewalks found with broken glass, however, improved only on residential streets, up to 78 percent of sidewalks free of broken glass from 70 percent last year. Commercial streets without broken glass dropped from 68 percent last year to 65 percent this year.

While there was found to be more graffiti on non-Public Works public assets and commercial private property, the amount of graffiti on Public Works property and sidewalks decreased in the past year.

Additionally, odors including from sewage, catch basins and human excrement-related odors (feces and urine) from Public Works properties dropped in the past year, while such odors from non-Public Works residential property increased. Odors near commercial property excluding Public Works decreased as well.

The report evaluated 184 routes throughout The City. It was recommended that street evaluation scores be incorporated into program planning, particularly streamlining the reporting and removal of broken glass, feces, condoms, and needles from public spaces, “which pose the greatest risk to safety and wellbeing,” the report states.

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