NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is alive in San Francisco as supervisors squabble about what to do with homeless RV dwellers, providing few options except for eliminating them from their individual districts.
One San Francisco supervisor is pressing the city to remove trailers and camper vans from a quiet side street in his district – a move that spurred emotional debate and divided board directors for the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Vehicle encampments have become an increasingly common sight in a city with a gnawing homeless crisis. Some housing activists call them a last line of defense for people struggling to stay off the street. But residents and city officials say the vehicle dwellers dump garbage, take up parking and create a nuisance for people living nearby.
Supervisor Ahsha Safai said he’s received numerous complaints from constituents about people camped out on De Wolf Street and Lawrence Avenue, a stretch of road wedged between a block of single-family homes and apartments and Interstate 280 in the Outer Mission.
“Allowing a small side street to become an unofficial RV park is not the answer” to the city’s problems with homelessness, Safai wrote in a letter to the board of the SFMTA, which manages parking in the city. He said the camp’s inhabitants pile detritus on the street and cook with open flames, creating a safety hazard for 13 adjacent homes.
The RVs are causing quality of life to deteriorate in “one of the last affordable neighborhoods in San Francisco,” Safai wrote. He asked for a parking ban on any vehicle more than seven feet tall or 22 feet long from midnight to 6 a.m. each day.
But activists and an RV dweller who showed up to the SFMTA board meeting on Tuesday asked for leniency, saying the people who camp on that roadway will have nowhere else to go if the city pushes them out.