For months, BART Director Bevan Dufty has been out at 16th and Mission streets on Wednesday morning sweeping the trash on the plaza. A few weeks in, he was joined by District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
Appalled at the state of things, Ronen has now called out the other BART directors, inviting them to join in the morning cleanups and asking for a long-term fix.
“The conditions we have seen are truly disturbing and, at times, disgusting, and I am outraged about the health and safety risks to BART riders and my constituents who pass through the plaza every day,” Ronen said in a statement.
The letter asks BART to clean the plaza every day and quadruple the amount of time staff spend power-washing the area. Ronen also says the city should implement an intervention program for drug dealers who ply their trade on the plaza and get homeless outreach teams to regularly talk to homeless people who spend their days in the area.
“While I knew the general conditions of the plaza were bad, cleaning it myself has opened my eyes to the deeply unhealthy conditions at the plaza — conditions that are unacceptable for a major transit hub in the Bay Area,” Ronen wrote to the directors.
Some of the directors remained out of their offices on Monday, and none have responded to a request for comment. We will update this story if any of the directors respond.
Debora Allen, BART Director for District 1, which includes Concord, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre and Walnut Creek stations says she responded to Dufty to set up a time to meet with him and Ronen to talk and see how she can help. Allen writes:
I am aware of the terrible conditions at 16th St. Mission and other stations in the BART system. I applaud Director Dufty’s stand against BART management to get adequate janitorial coverage at his stations and believe that as Directors we must demand better from BART Management for all stations.
In my district in Central Contra Costa, there is often one system service worker (janitor) taking care of three and sometimes four stations in a day. That is just unacceptable. We have vacant positions that need to be filled immediately, and I will be working with Director Dufty to get that done.
Nick Josefowitz, BART Director for District 8, which includes parts of Balboa Park, Embarcadero, and Montgomery stations, and the liaison for San Francisco Airport station, will be joining the cleanup efforts in January.