A little over two months into the Mission Street vending ban, city officials are pleased enough with the general decrease in blight that they’re extending the ban for another six months.
The illegal street-vending scene that popped up at 24th and Mission sometime in 2021 has led to oodles of failed strategies to contain it: a vendor permitting system, intimidating decoy towers, police barricades, and even the fencing-off of the 24th Street BART plaza. None of this worked. But the latest strategy was a full-on Mission Street vending ban, proposed and announced in late October by the district’s supervisor Hillary Ronen. Ronen took some heat for it, but it has apparently gotten good enough results that the ban will be extended by six months, according to KPIX.
The ban was originally proposed as a 90-day ban, and it only applies to Mission Street between 14th and 25th streets. According to a press release from Mayor Breed, “The City will now add another six months on to the 90-day moratorium.” So since the ban technically started on November 27, it would theoretically now last until August 27, 2024.
Extending this moratorium for six more months helps our efforts to disrupt unauthorized vending and illegal activities which have been negatively impacting small business owners, permitted vendors, Mission residents, and visitors. https://t.co/QEzRd5CAOy— London Breed (@LondonBreed) February 5, 2024
“The progress in the Mission is evident and a great relief to residents, merchants, and City workers,” Breed said in the release. “As we continue to partner with our City Departments, community leaders, residents, and business owners to deliver safer and cleaner streets to the neighborhood, we also need to change our state laws around vending.”
That release also touts SFPD data and a poll by her office (results seen above) claiming a “30% combined decrease in assaults and robbery incidents” since the ban, 67% of local businesses saying they have “seen a positive change on Mission Street,” and 76% of businesses wanting the ban extended.
Rep. Barbara Lee, running to succeed the late Dianne Feinstein as a California senator, stopped by the Mission today, chatting to merchants & local leaders.— Mission Local (@MLNow) January 6, 2024
And she bought a purple poncho from La Placita, the new street vendor marketplace.
via @xueer_lu https://t.co/CXoXjl65yn
There are two alternative vending sites for permitted vendors, and SFist’s own informal observances saw them doing pretty well around the holidays. On top of that, Senate candidate Barbara Lee popped in to one of them in early January. Those sites known as El Tiangue (2137 Mission Street at 17th Street) and La Placita (in a parking lot at 24th and Capp streets) will remain operating during the ban.
The vending has not been driven off Mission Street entirely, and on days when there’s no police cruisers parked there, the vending does tend to return. It also trickles back after dark, when police and Public Works don’t monitor the 24th Street BART area. The current situation is the least-bad status quo we’ve seen in the last three or so years of the always-evolving vending Mission Street vending scene, so it’s little surprise the ban has been extended.
Image: Joe Kukura, SFist