Street audit reveals city's dirt, grime

San Francisco’s filthiest commercial corridors are getting dirtier.

More trash was found littering San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks during the last fiscal year than was discovered one year earlier, according to an annual audit released Wednesday by The City.

The dirtiest streets were busy commercial corridors, including Mission, Stockton and Third streets.

The findings show that the San Francisco Department of Public Works needs to undertake extra street cleaning on commercial corridors, Director Edward Reiskin said.

“We need to focus our efforts to get a better bang for the buck,” he said. “The big picture is that our resources are going to be shrinking, not growing, so it’s a bit hard now to project what that’s going to look like in the future.”

Litter problems on residential streets and sidewalks, on the other hand, “remained nearly unchanged,” according to the report.

The level of cleanliness stayed the same — which Reiskin said had been expected — despite reductions in street sweeping efforts in residential neighborhoods.

Less graffiti was found on public property, while such vandalism on private property became far more prevalent, according to the audit.

“The better we are at knocking out the graffiti as soon as it hits our property, the more the taggers tend to go elsewhere,” Reiskin said.

Sheila Kolenc, interim executive director of the nonprofit San Francisco Beautiful, applauded The City for conducting the audit and “showing all of our dirty laundry” for the world to see.

The appearance of trees and overall cleanliness in landscaped areas improved, and the number of weeds decreased, according to the audit report.

“We’ve seen the invaluable efforts of volunteers, working with city employees, to help maintain our landscaping,” Kolenc said.

 

Under the rug

The City conducts an annual audit to see which streets are the least and most presentable.

Dirtiest streets
−Mission Street
−Stockton Street
−Third Street
−Geary

Cleanest streets
—Dolores Street
—Judson Avenue
—San Benito Way
—Divisadero Street

Source: San Francisco Office of the Controller

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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