department of public works

Challenges await new Muni chief Ed Reiskin

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jul 21 2011 - 5:01pm

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors announced Thursday that the Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin will become the next agency’s executive director. Reiskin arrives at a crucial time in the agency where Muni’s on-time performance fell slightly to 71 percent and the relationship between the agency and its drivers is increasingly strained. 

San Francisco shifting tree care onto property owners

Alex Zielinski, Way Out West — Jul 14 2011 - 12:43pm

Mayor Ed Lee recently produced a budget package for the new fiscal year that cut $300,000 from the already tight street tree care allowance. The proposal would shift the city’s responsibility for 24,000 trees in front of private property onto the property owners over the next seven years.

They would have to hire arborists to keep their trees healthy and pruned, an expense that can run up to $400 per visit. Property owners who neglect their new duties face city fines reaching $500 per citation. The city would keep maintaining trees on public property.

Sex, drugs and filth plague city-sponsored public restrooms

Nina Frazier, SF Public Press — Apr 4 2011 - 10:16am

Second of two articles about hygiene options for San Francisco’s homeless

San Francisco’s 25 freestanding, so-called “self-cleaning” public restrooms scattered across the city are magnets for prostitution and drug use. They are so filthy that even after automatic cleanings, they require one to five manual scrub-downs a day. The Department of Public Works, which contracted with JCDecaux more than a decade ago to install and maintain the units, blames the company. The company blames the police. And the police say they don’t have time to babysit city toilets 24 hours a day. The homeless are often shut out of the facilities, which constitute the only public restrooms where they are welcome. Meanwhile, San Francisco takes a cut of the company’s profits from billboards that envelope the toilets.

Illegal dumping costing city millions of dollars

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jan 5 2011 - 2:32pm

The Department of Public Works wants residents to stop dumping unwanted items such as furniture and mattresses on city streets through a campaign launched last month and by the threat of fines of up to $1,000.

The department says illegal dumping is costing the city millions of dollars to clean up the mess left behind by residents and contractors. The city is encouraging residents to take advantage of free services offered by Recology Sunset Scavenger and Golden Gate.

The San Francisco Police Department and the City Attorney's Office are also working to find those responsible for dumping construction materials in the Bayview-Hunter Point area.

City’s struggle against graffiti tries rewards, murals and profiling

Katy Gathright, SF Public Press — Aug 3 2010 - 9:14am

San Francisco’s ongoing battle against graffiti is finally paying off - at least for those turning in taggers to the city's Graffiti Rewards Program. Anti-graffiti strategies like the reward program have proliferated in the last five years as the Department of Public Works has adopted a mix of law-enforcement and community engagement measures to reduce tagging. City agencies as a whole spend $20 million on graffiti abatement each year.

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