San Francisco cleaned up ahead of APEC summit

San Francisco is undergoing a cleanup in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, where 20,000 high-profile CEOs and Heads of State are expected to gather in the city.

Mayor London Breed said this could revitalize the local economy by bringing in nearly $53 million dollars.

With San Francisco in the international spotlight, leaders are making sure the city shines.

"Tourism is our business here in San Francisco, and we need to focus on making sure that the tourist dollars still come back," said resident Patrick Rylee.

Caltrans is repaving major roadways like the Harrison Street off-ramp from Interstate 80.

BART will have extra personnel at four downtown SF stations for APEC and has begun overnight deep cleaning more frequently.


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"Those deep cleans include scrubbing and power washing the entire station. We’ve also increased the frequency of how often we deep clean our train cars," said BART spokesperson Chris Filippi.

"The city had gotten a little bit dingy over time," said Rylee. 

Scrubbing and power washing is happening all over the city, especially where APEC attendees may walk through. 

"The bottom of my shoes look clean," joked Marc Savino, who works in San Francisco.

It’s noticeable how clear the streets look and how few homeless encampments there are on major thoroughfares.


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San Francisco will be in the international spotlight as it prepares to host the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit or APEC from November 11 - 17th, with heads of state and top leaders from the 21 member economies and tens of thousands of delegates.

"Having been a longtime resident of the Bay Area, you just naturally start to wonder about houseless folks being displaced," said Savino.

Public Works is installing decorative crosswalks in North Beach and Chinatown. The Webster St pedestrian bridge in Japantown was recently repainted. APEC attendees are expected to visit these locations.

The Yerba Buena Gardens at the Moscone Convention Center are decked out with new colorful landscaping and murals, paid for by the "Clean California" grant.

All of this was done just in time for the 20,000 high profile attendees come into town next week.

Some residents said this should be how it’s always done.

"What about the people who are here year round, local hardworking working class Bay Area folks," said Savino.

Other residents welcome the clean-up.

"Anything that brings a positive look on the city of San Francisco is great," said Rylee. 

At a press conference highlighting the Clean California beautification project with Governor Newsom on Thursday, Mayor Breed said, "Just to be clear, we clean up the city every day… We will continue to do everything we can to maintain cleanliness in our streets."

City officials said no additional funds have been allocated for beautification. City departments involved are using their standard operating budgets, with a focus on the locations in the city where APEC is taking place.

The summit begins on Wednesday, but visitors will probably start arriving over the weekend and early next week.