SF data shows Mission St. is clean after vending ban, but permitted vendors say they are struggling

Luz Pena Image
Sunday, March 17, 2024
SF's Mission St. clean after vending ban, permitted vendors struggling
It's been more than 3 months since street vending was banned on Mission Street and a first report on cleanliness is out.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's been more than 3 months since street vending was banned on Mission Street and a first report on cleanliness is out.

"We are seeing that the overall request for street cleaning that comes through the 311 customer service center is down about 21% overall in the Mission District. About 23% along the corridor where the moratorium is in place for the vending ban," said Rachel Gordon, SF Public Works Department Spokesperson.

Sidewalks are clean and Public Works inspectors along with San Francisco police officers are patrolling the area 7 days a week and until 8 p.m. on weekdays.

The city is saying their efforts are also leading to more than just clean sidewalks.

"We have also seen fewer police calls that are coming through for burglaries and assaults that was one of the reasons that we were able to extend the moratorium," said Gordon.

MORE: San Francisco Mission St. vending ban extended for 6 more months

San Francisco is extending their ban on street vending on Mission Street for six more months to address crime.

The city implemented the ban to tackle vendors selling stolen items on sidewalks.

We ran into a vendor that goes by the name "Shark." He was carrying several pounds of stolen meat selling it on foot to avoid it getting confiscated.

Luz Pena: "Do you do this often?"

Shark: "I probably do this 10 times a day. I have to do that to feed myself because nobody pays you what is worth. So you have to go keep doing it and doing it. You then get in trouble and then you are probably going to go to prison and it's all because you want to feed yourself. It's crazy"

Luz Pena: "You don't want to be doing this?"

Shark: "No. I just got fired from my job. That was the only thing I had and I was only making $600 a month."

He showed us inside his backpack.

Shark: "Beef tongue here. One of these will feed a family for a week a month."

Luz Pena: "How much was the meat inside the store?"

Shark: "$150 dollars and you took it today? No. I got it yesterday."

VIDEO: SF Mission St. vendors blame 90-day ban for contributing to them ending up homeless, living in van

The 90-day street vending ban is still in effect in San Francisco and now multiple street vendors are reporting housing insecurity.

Susana Rojas is the Executive Director of Calle 24. Their group represents street vendors. She agrees streets are cleaner now but is asking the city to think about the vendors who are selling merchandise that was never stolen and have permits.

"There has been a lot of narrative to promote a permanent ban for our vendors. Not only in the Mission but all over San Francisco. We stand against it. The vendors have never been the issue," said Rojas.

One of those vendors following the rules is Manuel Soltero. He is inside the location on 2137 Mission Street set up by the city for them.

Luz Pena: "How is business here?"

Manuel Soltero: "Very bad. Because no people come to buy nothing. Empty"

RELATED: San Francisco Mission vendors making '$10 a day' due to 90-day street vending ban

Some San Francisco Mission Street vendors say they're making $10 a day due to city's 90-day street vending ban.

Soltero is glad streets are clean, but said they never contributed to the mess. He wants the city to let them sale outside while the inspectors are out.

"Why are they not doing it like this? We sell in that space. They stay 8 hours. Why not stay 8 hours and we sell over there? We have permits. Legal permits," said Soltero.

After inspectors leave around 8pm residents report seeing vendors selling what look like stolen items on the sidewalks again. Something the Public Works department is aware of and said they will continue to gather more data before extending or changing their schedule.

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