Rejecting the Board of Supervisors' unanimous recommendation that the SFMTA name the Chinatown Central Subway station after Rose Pak, an idea some protesters begged the SFMTA Citizens' Advisory Council to ignore, transit officials approved a new naming policy that requires transit stations to reflect their geographic location — such as street, intersection, or neighborhood — according to news website SFBay. Their resolution is online, and it rules out the possibility of a Pak station — as well as any other station name. Tough luck, Willie Brown — at least you've got that bridge.
"SFMTA staff has surveyed other U.S. transit agencies to determine whether they have naming policies that provide such guidance," the resolution says, and citing specific instances such as potential emergencies as well as general convenience, they've declared the formal policy.
Rose Pak was, at least metaphorically, synonymous with Chinatown. Relatedly, she was a driving force behind the creation of the Central Subway project which seeks to promote transportation to and from the sometimes isolated neighborhood. After her death in September, Pak was celebrated with a massive funeral procession through Chinatown, but following that event, she was not properly interred as planned: Her body was last seen languishing at the Green Street Mortuary as her family fights over her estate, inexplicably sizable despite her lack of income.
Although the rule against using people's names for SFMTA stations might appear final, Rose Pak, were she still with us, would be the first one to fight. Perhaps if we could first rename the cross streets at the station, which are Stockton and Washington, Rose Street and Pak Street? Or maybe we ought to rename Chinatown after her altogether? Or, last, and hear me out, we could finally make permanent the temporary Stockton Street winter walk of which everyone but she approved, and name it after her. Just spitballing here.