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

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