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According to the SF Examiner (http://www.sfexaminer.com/bart-quadruple-power-washing-mission-street-stations/), the BART Board of Directors addressed the status of the 16th Street/Mission Street Plaza at today’s meeting.

Some consternation arose from the homeless community when BART removed benches at 16th Street station during cleaning efforts in September.

Dufty, however, delivered some more news Thursday directly addressing those concerns — the benches will return Nov. 1, he said.

“BART staff knows this is important to me and Supervisor Hillary Ronen,” Dufty wrote on Facebook. “My values would not allow the removal of seating areas from people who are vulnerable or just needing a place to sit.”

Once again, here is the contact information for the elected officials for the 16th Street/Mission Street Plaza:

BART Director Bevan Dufty–510-464-6095, bevan.dufty@bart.gov

SF Supervisor Hillary Ronen–415-554-5144, Hillary.Ronen@sfgov.org

In addition, the most relevant BART staff person is Molly Burke, molly.burke@bart.gov

Earlier coverage:  https://sffnb.org/2018/10/08/bart-removes-benches-from-16th-street-mission-street-plaza/

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Without public discussion or advanced notice, BART closed most of the southwest 16th Street/Mission Street Plaza from September 10, 2018 to September 20, 2018 for construction.  The reported purposes of this project were to resurface and to deep clean the plaza.  BART removed the approximately six benches from the plaza and has not reinstalled them, denying people places to sit in a public space.

San Francisco Food Not Bombs shares food in that plaza every Thursday at 6 PM.  Please join us for a delicious, vegetarian (usually vegan) meal:  https://sffnb.org/serving-schedule/.

The San Francisco Examiner covered the cruel removal of the benches:  http://www.sfexaminer.com/16th-mission-bart-cleanup-results-loss-benches/.

According to elected BART Director Bevan Dufty, BART will install new benches by November 1, 2018.  Dufty announced this time frame in a posting on his Facebook page, viewable only to people logged into their Facebook accounts.  Why is an elected official disseminating information that should be universally available exclusively through a private website requiring log in access?

Will BART actually replace the benches?  Was their removal part of the ongoing, cynical campaign by public agencies to force poor people from public spaces? Why did BART order the new benches too late for their immediate installation at the time of the reopening of the plaza?

Several years ago, the SFMTA permanently removed public seating from its plaza at the Castro Street Muni station.  Likewise, the SF Recreation and Parks Department permanently closed the McCoppin Hub park in early 2017.  Its status is unchanged since our last postings about that shameful fiasco:  https://sffnb.org/2018/03/03/demonstration-gardens-relocate-to-still-closed-mccoppin-hub/ and https://sffnb.org/2017/11/24/mccoppin-hub-indefinitely-locked/.

Stay tuned.  Please contact the following relevant elected officials to hold them accountable and to insure the replacement of the benches at the SW 16th Street/Mission Street BART Plaza:

BART Director Bevan Dufty–510-464-6095, bevan.dufty@bart.gov

SF Supervisor Hillary Ronen–415-554-5144, Hillary.Ronen@sfgov.org

Steve Martinot’s essay explains the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, affirming the right of homeless people to sleep in public.  Martinot brings the issue home to the Bay Area, specifically to Berkeley.  You can read the essay here:  https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/02/the-constitution-and-homelessness/

Here is an earlier post about the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision:  https://sffnb.org/2018/09/09/court-affirms-right-of-homeless-persons-to-not-be-punished-for-sleeping-in-public/

 

Servings

Note: Servings may cancel in the event of rain

TUES: none try curry without worry – UN Plaza @ Hyde St – 5:30PM

THURS: 16th & Mission – 6:00PM

FRI: Market & Hyde – 7:00PM

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