Homelessness Surges Around Ferry Building

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Saturday morning farmer's market at the Ferry Building. Photo: Smudgeboy on Flickr

    Homelessness continues to be a problem for San Francisco, particularly around the Ferry Building in recent weeks.

    Ever since the demolition of the Transbay Terminal, a 1930's-era transit hub that became an de facto homeless shelter, transients have had to find new downtown digs.

    Ferry Building security personnel have complained of a recent surge in harassment by homeless people, according to the Ex. Loitering, theft, and sanitation issues have also increased.

    The homelessness issue could derail the struggling movement to revitalize the waterfront. Numerous developments are planned for many of the Piers near SOMA and the Financial District, including a new home for the Exploratorium and public space on Pier 70.

    But an even greater problem is the heavy car usage along the Embarcadero. Although several dozen homeless people were displaced by the Transbay demolition, there are far more cars traveling through the neighborhood every day, imperiling pedestrians and discouraging foot-traffic.

    Urban planners have long recognized a correlation between pedestrian-unfriendly streets and criminal activity.

    The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is currently pursuing improvements to the bike network in the area which would make it easier for people to get around without being run over.