Adopting San Francisco

by Shadab Farooqui

One thing that I really admired about NYC was the street cleaning that happened on both a daily and weekly basis all over the city. The apartment buildings "adopted" the sidewalks and kept it clean by washing them with water, each morning. This is not to say that New York is the cleanest city in the world, but I admired the dedication and resolve with which the doormen washed the streets with a hose every morning.

San Francisco has a littering problem. It's everywhere, it is apparent and it is getting worse.

For every company or startup, being in San Francisco should be a privilege. Maintaining a street should be corporate responsibility.  Companies should more directly contribute toward keeping their streets clean, in addition to paying city taxes. If you took pride in your second home, i.e. your workplace, wouldn't you naturally care if the sidewalks on your street were clean? Why are clean sidewalks more of a luxury in San Francisco than in any other major US city?

Imagine the density of companies in the SoMa/South Beach area -- there are hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals per street block. If each individual could make a contribution in a small way, the systems to support the cleanliness initiatives would get funded. 

Ideas for starting some kind of an "adopt a street" program:

1) Fund more of those cleaning trucks or increase the frequency of cleanung. The costs should be covered by companies collectively (similar to an HOA)

2) Use private companies that maintain the sidewalk for you. Each company pays a monthly subscription fee. 

3) Push local officials to take action (don't hold your breath).

Will it make it more expensive to start and grow a company in SF? 

Absolutely, and why shouldn’t it?