Rose Pak stands greets supporters during an event celebrating her arrival from China at San Francisco International Airport Monday, May 23, 2016. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

SFMTA developing station naming policy after call for ‘Rose Pak Station’

What’s in a name?

Weighty policy decisions are involved in naming the Central Subway’s Chinatown Station after community organizer Rose Pak, who died in September, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

A week after the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution urging the SFMTA to name the station “Rose Pak Station,” the agency is now crafting a policy to allow it to name stations after people, the SFMTA told the San Francisco Examiner.

The Central Subway is set to open in 2019 and will connect downtown with Chinatown underground. The naming policy is being crafted by SFMTA staff, and is hoped to be enacted by “the end of the year,” said agency spokesperson Paul Rose.

When asked what the policy may look like, even preliminarily — either for or against naming SFMTA stations after people — Rose said it is too early to say, as the policy is in development.

At Tuesday’s SFMTA Board of Directors meeting, naming the Central Subway for Pak was not discussed, but some people said during public comment that they did not want the station named for Pak.

“The so-called gatekeeper of Chinatown Rose Pak bullied people. Is that true leadership?” said Qian Zhang, who told the Examiner she was with the Falun Gong religious group.

By contrast, the Board of Supervisors resolution to name the Central Subway’s Chinatown station “Rose Pak Station” touts Pak as having dedicated more than 40 years “advocating for the construction and completion of the Central Subway.”

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