As construction continues on the $1.578 billion Central Subway project that will connect Chinatown to Muni's light-rail system, all that excavation has stirred more than just the ire of fiscally conservative Muni critics: it has disturbed the army of urban rats that calls the city's sewers, streets corners and gutters home. According to Rolando Hernandez, the Chronicle's star witness to the phenomenon, live rats (e.g. not the city's preferred variety, the Banksy rat) are swarming the parking lot under the freeway near Fourth and Bryant. Spoiler alert: grossness ahead:
"They climb up and down the fence like Spider-Man," Hernandez said. "In the mornings, I come in and the ground is littered with feces. It looks like a carpet, there's just so much of it."
Paul Rose, the SFMTA's tireless spokesman, said that traps were set out around the site before construction began and that the agency hasn't received any complaints about the vermin, but Johnson Ojo, a manager with the Department of Public Health, said the plan to use traps and poison as well as to control the rats' "nesting areas" (ugh) has not yet been implemented.
So far, no word on whether a "rat king" has emerged to rule the rat army, but as construction proceeds into Chinatown, a tidal wave of agitated rats could be just around the corner. SFist has reached out to some rat experts to learn more about what's really going on here, but for now, keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you lest you become the first casualty of the impending ratpocalypse.