SAN FRANCISCO - To anyone who lives or works in The City, it comes as no surprise that San Francisco embodies a stark dichotomy comprising of multimillion dollar mansions and stunning seascapes of the Pacific Ocean on the one hand, and drug-infested homeless camps with feces on the sidewalk on the other.
But the New York Times decided to do a deep dive through 10 years of city data to find the dirtiest block in the 49-square mile city.
The Times’ findings: The 300 block of Hyde Street, a span about the length of a football field in the heart of the Tenderloin neighborhood, received 2,227 complaints about street and sidewalk cleanliness over the last decade, more than any other. It's blocks away from the golden gilded City Hall and not too far away from the new $1.1 billion Salesforce skyscraper.
"For many who live here it’s difficult to reconcile San Francisco’s liberal politics with the misery that surrounds them," wrote Times San Francisco Bureau Chief Thomas Fuller.
On Tuesday, Fuller sat down with KTVU to discuss his repeated visits to this block.
"The thing that struck me, were the drugs that was there," Fuller sai, and that so many drug users seemed quite comfortable shooting up, with no fear of arrest. "I guess that it was so out in the open," he said.
The problem is no surprise to Mayor London Breed, whose city touts a "poop patrol," and who ran on a platform of cleaning up city streets.
On Wednesday, she spoke to KTVU, agreeing that "part of the challenge is changing behavior. We have to make sure we are not as tolerant as we have been in the past."
Breed had wanted, and still wants, to open a safe injection site in San Francisco where drug users could come off the streets and shoot up in legally sanctioned rooms under medical supervision. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed that idea last week, though Breed said she didn't want to give up the fight.
And in what might seem like an odd contradiction, Breed came out last week opposing the citywide Proposition C, which seeks to use business taxes to support homeless services. She said that in her opinion, Prop C lacks fiscal oversight for the $300 million it seeks annually in taxes from large businesses.