October 24, 2018

San Francisco: Van Ness Avenue Construction Project Kills Local Businesses

In San Francisco, the error ridden, 18-months behind behemoth Van Ness Construction Project has claimed a victim:  locally owned Bootleg Bar & Kitchen.

This project was supposed ... supposed ... to somehow improve Van Ness Avenue, a main thoroughfare in San Francisco, from Mission Street to Lombard Street.  In its infinite stupid wisdom, the City of San Francisco tore up the street and sidewalks all along the stretch in one swoop.  The project is now 18-months behind, with untold misery for residents and businesses along Van Ness.

Reason for the extreme and ever growing delay?  Contractors are surprised they continue to strike water pipes and other underground utilities they didn't know were there.

As my Architect husband Jim - who has worked on many projects in San Francisco - said this morning:
"Duh!  Did the contractors actually think water pipes from the 1840s would be on City drawings?!"
Locally owned Bootleg Bar & Kitchen, located along the construction zone, is closing its doors.  Since the project started, Bootleg Bar & Kitchen's business is down 50%, and the establishment cannot financially stay open any longer.  You see, patrons can't get to the establishment, given that the road and sidewalks are all torn up, adorned with barricades and 6 foot fencing.  Read more in today's San Francisco Chronicle article.

Van Ness Avenue Construction Project

Here's my beef  with this issue.  The City of San Francisco currently spends over $300 million a year ... a year ... on its homeless services, to "help" an estimated 7,499 chronically homeless people (2017 homeless count) who live in San Francisco.  Homeless people who, by all reporting, are generally drug addicted, mentally ill, or both.  And nearly all, by all reporting, choose to be homeless, refusing offers of shelter but gladly accepting free handouts.

And the city of San Francisco remains a filth bucket, littered with human feces, needles, piles of trash, and homeless people openly shooting up drugs in public.

So let's do the math:  $300 million for 7,499 is $40,000 a person.  But wait, there's more!  Measure C that appears on next month's ballot in San Francisco would tax large corporations on their gross profits, supposedly generating an additional $300 million dollars a year for homeless services.  That would bring total annual spending for homeless services in San Francisco to over $600 million, or roughly $80,000 per homeless person per year.

What has the City of San Francisco done to help the businesses along Van Ness Avenue during this ill fated and disastrous construction project?  Not a darn thing.  Except to print up few cheap signs, hung crooked on the fencing around the project, that point to businesses.  Take a look:

Photo credit:  sanfranciscochronicle.com

Lovely, huh?  For the City of San Francisco to act in this manner, thumbing its nose at and destroying Van Ness Avenue businesses, is wrong.  Flat out wrong.  Plain crazy!

Just another indication of misery and wrongdoing in the once great city of San Francisco.

About Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides tax, insurance consulting, and expert witness services to clients who have technical or complex concerns.  For more information about Mary and her professional services visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

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