Beloved/feared Chinatown power broker Rose Pak, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 68, was one of the singular, unstoppable forces in getting the Central Subway project built. And while it still isn't finished (and believe you me it would be if she'd lived an extra couple years), the Board of Supervisors believes her name needs to be attached to some piece of it.
The SFMTA nixed the idea of naming Chinatown Station for Pak back in 2016, saying that station names need to reflect geographical places in order not to confuse the public. (SFist proposed at the time the city should just pick a cross-street near where Chinatown Station lets out and rename it Rose Pak Street.)
Now Sup. Aaron Peskin has re-proposed the idea, as the Examiner reports, issuing a statement Tuesday saying, "It’s appropriate to honor the community’s desire to see the station named after Central Subway’s biggest advocate, Rose Pak, who advocated at every level of government to bring Central Subway to Chinatown."
His proposal: Rose Pak Chinatown Station.
Supervisors Norman Yee, Sandra Fewer, Shaman Walton, Ahsha Safai and Gordon Mar all co-sponsored new legislation to this effect as of Tuesday's BoS meeting.
Pak is credited with helping the city win $500 million in federal grants for the Central Subway project, and long a champion of her neighborhood, Pak felt the subway was essential to keeping Chinatown integrated into SF's larger business and cultural communities.
Peskin said at Tuesday's meeting that adding Pak's name was a "kind gesture," and he said, "I think we can both honor Rose’s leadership on this legacy project while simultaneously highlighting Chinatown’s geographic location."
The neighborhood, whose residents have not forgotten her, will no doubt agree.