SF's Union Square promoting safe, clean holiday shopping experience

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Union Square is San Francisco's premier shopping destination. The City's goal is to have the area safe and clean every day, but there is a special emphasis during the holiday season.

"We expect hundreds of thousands of people to be here. It'll probably add more than $6 million just in the next four weeks to our economy," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said.

The Director of the Department of Public Works, Mohammad Nuru, says his crews will be working from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. "You'll see more street cleaners around here to make sure everything is clean. All your trash cans will be clean."

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The mayor has also enacted a moratorium on construction of the nearby Central Subway until after the holidays so there will be no noise or dust to disrupt the shopping experience.

Police Chief William Scott says he wants to "promote a tradition" of safety. Police officers will be more visible around Union Square.

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Scott is urging shoppers to do their part so they don't become victims of crime. His tips include, taking a break from cellphones so you're not distracted, shielding your ATM PIN numbers, keeping valuables hidden in your car, and consider changing your parking spot if you drop off a load of packages and plan to continue shopping. "Sometimes people out to do harm will watch you put packages in the car. Then you go resume your shopping and come back and your things are gone."

The Union Square Business Improvement District pays for 33 ambassadors who help members of the public and help keep the area clean. During the holidays, the District will hire even more.

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