Wait What?

Wait What?

McCoppin Plaza Is Not For The Poor, and Will Be Fenced Off In A Bid to Keep Them Out

McCoppin Hub Plaza, the public space on Valencia just before Market Street, will be fenced off by the city in a bid to prevent the homeless from making use of the public resource. It seems that the homeless, who, lest we all forget, are guilty of the horrible sin of not having homes, were congregating in the plaza. And we can’t have that, can we? Especially in a spot like McCoppin Plaza, whose seemingly only good use was to provide a gathering space for some of the city’s less fortunate.

Mission Local reports:

Though it will likely take six months or more to put up the fences  – the designs have not yet been finalized – Supervisor Jane Kim said at a community meeting Tuesday night that her office had heard loud and clear from neighbors. While the city works to address its homelessness problem, she said, fencing the plaza makes sense to keep homeless people from loitering and littering there and vandals from causing damage. […]

Prospective plans include an eight-foot fence and a variety of gate configurations, with either swinging gates and a roll-up barrier, for the two wide slanted driveways. […]

Several neighbors had long wanted a fence, and were growing impatient with the fact that none had yet been erected.

Thankfully those wonderful people at city hall have heard the anguished cries of their (housed) constituents and rushed in to save us from the horrible specter of poor people hanging out.

And once that gate is closed, it’s likely to stay closed. Again, from Mission Local:

Unless new programming steps in, there’s a good chance McCoppin Hub will stand empty, and therefore fenced, most of the day. Events in public spaces tend to dwindle in the winter months, said [Robin Havens of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development]. 

Glad that’s been taken care of.

But how did we get here in the first place? McCoppin Plaza was previously just little old McCoppin cul-de-sac, and, according to SocketSite, was rezoned early last year with the goal of turning the space into “the mixed-use McCoppin Hub Plaza, with pads for food trucks, farmers markets, or other community events.” However, after the renovated plaza was unveiled, the much-hyped food trucks never showed up, and the homeless returned almost immediately. The space was then fenced off and padlocked in April of this year. 

Mission Local explained how (the lack of) food trucks failed to provide the necessary energy to transform the space:

Part of the vision for the plaza as a public space was to have food trucks from Off The Grid set up shop there like they used to on some weekends.  The trucks were so highly anticipated that Robin Havens, from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said the design of the park was amended to better accommodate them.

But the food trucks aren’t showing up. Ken Rich, also from Haven’s office, said repeated requests for Off the Grid to send some trucks to McCoppin have been unsuccessful because the trucks can simply make more money at other locations.

If the new plaza isn’t perfectly suited for food trucks, maybe the city can spend more money to turn it into a space that is. I hear parking lots are popular.

[Photo: San Francisco Public Works via Mission Local]