The city of San Francisco installed nearly 100 new street lights in the Tenderloin to improve safety after eight years of planning and more than $4 million donated by the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC).
"It’s more comfortable to walk around," said resident Bora Alhaj, who said she now feels more secure walking home after work. "More light, people walking don't have to worry about someone being behind them."
When CPMC started planning to build a hospital in the area, community groups in the Tenderloin said more people would be driving through their neighborhood to get there. They wanted more light for pedestrian safety and they finally have it, 97 of them.
"I know people are thinking ‘lighting what's the big deal?’ it's a big deal every community wants pedestrian lighting tear drop lighting," said San Francisco mayor London Breed.
Neighborhood groups who fought for the lights said pedestrians will be more visible and they expect to see less drug use and crime in new well-lit areas, but not everyone is buying it.
"People are going to do what they’re going to do with or without lights," said resident Laeo Lopez.
Some said the Tenderloin needs more than lighting to make it safe as the new hospital is scheduled to open in March.
"Maybe more police around, not just driving, walking around," said Lopez.
Mayor Breed said that as more police officers become available, they will be joining the Tenderloin station.