Strip clubs, bars and other North Beach businesses are trying to band together to pool money that could be used to bring private security forces and new streetlights into North Beach’s red-light Broadway strip.
“It’s been very tough on Broadway lately,” said local resident and business owner Marsha Garland, who has been working this year with other Broadway businesses to form a community benefit district along the strip.
The Broadway corridor, which sees thousands of partygoers each weekend visiting the dance and strip clubs, has been plagued with issues, leading The City to shut down at least one establishment.
After the clubs close, fights, robberies and public drunkenness take over the strip. Residents and business owners began sounding off about the situation last year. Since then, San Francisco police have increased their presence on the corridor on weekend nights, with more officers walking the beat as well as motorcycle and plainclothesmen patrolling the street.
However, Garland says the police need more help and that a community benefit district can help by hiring private security. Community benefit districts work by taxing local businesses and property owners to fund local improvement projects, according to Marco Li Mandri, who has hired to help move the Broadway project forward. He has helped form similar districts since 2005 in neighborhoods such as the Tenderloin, Fisherman’s Wharf and central Market.
Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, whose district includes Broadway, said he has had “remarkably good” experiences with the district in Fisherman’s Wharf.
“This is really an unprecedented opportunity to give the businesses a voice in how they want to manage Broadway by day and by night,” said Peskin, who added that he thinks such a district could help manage Broadway rowdiness.
Peskin said a push to introduce the district to Broadway has been moving “two steps forward and one step back”for several years, but that it “looks like they’re finally turning a corner” since Li Mandri has been working with owners.
The district will become a reality if 30 percent of the businesses agree to it, according to Peskin.