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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tenderloin Residents Say Eddy Street Parking Encourages Drug Deals

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 3:04 PM

click to enlarge FLICKR/CAFFEINA
Removing parking spaces anywhere in San Francisco isn't a popular position — unless of course it's for a good cause. 

Tenderloin residents and community members started a petition this week to remove parking on one block of Eddy Street, which they say provides cover for drug dealing. The block in question is the stretch between Taylor and Mason streets. In addition to alleged drug deals, it also hosts the Exit Theatre and Pandora Kareoke and Bar, according to the petition.  

"This block of Eddy Street is a major location for Tenderloin street drug dealing," the petition reads. "We believe that a trial removal of parking on the Northern side of the block will disrupt the drug activity that uses these parked cars to hide drug sales and use."

The petitioners have a strong case, mainly because removing Tenderloin parking has decreased drug dealing activity before. In 2014, the city removed parking on a nearby stretch of Turk Street after a Tenderloin Housing Clinic survey found it to be one of the most violent blocks in the city. At the time of the survey, the 438 residents of the block had experienced 248 violent crimes in just six months. But a February 2014 parking ban changed the block dramatically. Dealers had nothing to hide behind and nowhere to park, so the drug activity declined. Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the Tenderloin, and Captain Jason Cherniss supported the 2014 Turk street parking ban. 

What's unclear, however, is where the dealers go when the cars are booted out. Will they just move down a block? Removing parking might be a transformative solution for one block, but it's hard to imagine it working for an entire neighborhood. 
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