SF steps up efforts to pressure wash poop off sidewalks

San Francisco is one step closer to having cleaner streets and sidewalks.

Officials with the Tenderloin Community Benefit District are increasing the number of times crews pressure wash sidewalks in the Tenderloin District from once a month to four times a month. The increase comes amid a long-standing problem with human waste in the area. Trash will continued to be picked up daily.

Every block of the Tenderloin’s boundaries bordered by O’Farrell, Mason, Larkin and Market streets will be washed more frequently.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney, whose district includes the Tenderoin, said he secured $260,000 during this year’s budget process for cleaning within the district. Additionally, an investment from property owners will allow the cleaning to continue until 2034.

The appreciation for the crews is clear.

“When I see them working it inspires me," said Fernando Pujals with the Tenderloin Community Benefit District. "It’s a tough job, but they do it with a smile on their face. We collect a lot of ‘thanks you's’ in this neighborhood." 

In 2018, the Tenderloin logged 3,000 calls to the SF 311 customer service center for feces cleanup, according to online rental company RentHop.com, which studied data from SF 311.

That’s an 11% decrease from the previous year, but still the highest number of 311 requests citywide for sidewalk cleanliness issues.

Giving the homeless access to more bathrooms will also help keeper the streets and sidewalks cleaner. Haney extended a pilot program for 24 hour portable bathrooms called pit stops to give people more access to restrooms during the night. The restrooms are cleaned and monitored at all hours.

It’s all part of Haney’s 10-point plan, which also calls for more animal waste stations and tamper resistant trash cans.