If at first you don’t succeed, try and try… oh whatever, who fucking cares. After struggling for several years to keep the homeless out of McCoppin Hub Plaza, Hoodline reports that the city has finally given up and just shut the thing down. Indefinitely.
According to John Updike, who heads the city’s Real Estate Division and in that capacity is in charge of the public space at Valencia and McCoppin Street, the plaza is now considered a construction zone and is off-limits to the public—as the chain-link fence that surrounds the park makes clear.
The chain-link fence is reportedly a placeholder until a permanent fence can be installed at a later date.
The city initially had high hopes for the mini-park, and rolled out the welcome mat for food trucks. The trucks never came, however, and homeless people began congregating there instead. But not to worry, Updike assured Hoodline that the indefinite closure is not at all about keeping out the homeless. Rather, it’s about public safety.
“There was a lot of abuse of the site and intimidation by people that frankly were doing illegal activities,” he told the publication. “There’s a lot of illegal activity that was occurring and it was to the detriment of the neighborhood being able to enjoy the rest of the open space.”
And while some may view the closure as a massive failure on the part of officials to utilize public land in a city where space is at a premium, perhaps this can be seen as a bold new crime-fighting strategy. Simply fence off areas where unsavory characters congregate and voilà, crime will disappear.
Now all we need is enough chain-link fencing to enclose 49 square miles, and we’ll be good to go.
[Rendering of an imagined fence from 2015: San Francisco Public Works via Mission Local]