Citizens Scrub City Streets Under Cover of Night

If you noticed an extra little gleam on your city streets lately, thank the Department of Public Works' "Spruce up by Sun Up" program.

The initiative sends citizens out into their San Francisco communities under cover of night to remove vandalism and trash, and to report infrastructure in need of repair. That could include something as simple as gum stains on the sidewalk, sick trees or clogged drains.

The campaign lasted from September to February, and identified 9,000 issues in need of attention. Graffiti comprised 35% of the problems, sidewalk deficiencies were 16%, garbage was 17%, tree problems were 24%, and there was another 8% of miscellaneous trash.

The garbage figure is a little surprising, since it indicates that businesses and residences lack proper garbage disposal equipment or service. For a city that places a high priority on sanitation, 17% is clearly too high. Eight hundred businesses got a citation for improper garbage disposal, of which 89% cleaned up their act. The other 11% are weirdos.

The areas most in need of attention were Potrero Ave near Glen Park, 24th and Mission, Lower Polk, West Portal, and South Van Ness. The areas in the best shape were lower Third St, Broadway and Powell, and Upper Polk.

The initiative is part of the Community Corridors Program, which extends over 300 city blocks all over the city.

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