Sunset District

Sunset Streets Get a Deep Cleaning from San Francisco Public Works

Press Release:

On Thursday, Feb. 20, San Francisco Public Works visited the Sunset District to implement SidewalkSpotlightSF, a new initiative to deep clean busy neighborhood corridors throughout the City with a focus on litter removal, steam cleaning, graffiti abatement, trash pickup and public education.

Public Works is expanding the City’s efforts to address quality of life issues relying on data from 311, community partnerships and field staff to target locations.


A cleaner with San Francisco Public Works power washing the sidewalk on Irving Street at 21st Avenue on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo by Michael Durand.

Public Works will perform intensive sidewalk cleanups through June, followed by a comprehensive education campaign. Public Works outreach workers will provide door-to-door outreach to merchants, in partnership with community-based organizations.

“Public Works is working hand-in-hand with the community to deliver much-needed sidewalk cleaning to our busiest merchant corridors,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly. “This new initiative is one of the many ways we are serving residents, keeping sidewalks clean and strengthening community partnerships that are ultimately our best resource to keep our sidewalks clean.”

“Obviously, keeping our sidewalks clean remains a high priority for the community and for our department,” said Alaric Degrafinried, Acting San Francisco Public Works Director. “It is clear from my initial discussions with neighborhood residents that a more intensive focus on sidewalk cleaning is needed. As we plan for our two-year budget, I will be talking to more community members throughout the City to determine what is the best use of our street cleaning resources. But, while that is underway, I am excited to launch SidewalkSpotlightSF that targets our resources to the very real concerns the community has about sidewalk conditions.”


The pavement on Irving Street at 22nd Avenue gets a shower from a Public Works truck. Photo by Michael Durand.

The department is prioritizing a rapid response to dog and human waste, sidewalk dumping, trash pickup, graffiti removal and tree basin cleaning.

The new initiative includes a crew of 20 workers deployed to do an intensive cleanup of targeted neighborhood corridors, which includes:

  • Litter Patrol – manual sweeping and sidewalk dumping removal;
  • Steam Cleaning – deep cleaning and power washing of grimy sidewalks in busy pedestrian corridors;
  • Outreach and Enforcement – Public Works outreach workers will ramp up educating merchants and property owners about their responsibility to keep sidewalks clean.

Graffiti abatement is one of the steps Public Works is taking to help clean up neighborhoods throughout the city. The worker above is applying a fresh coat of paint to a utility box on 22nd Avenue at Irving Street. Photo by Michael Durand.

The SidewalkSpotlightSF initiative augments a roster of services performed by Public Works and nonprofit partners aimed at keeping the City clean and green, including a Corridor Ambassadors program that puts unemployed people to work sweeping 700 blocks in the City’s busiest neighborhood commercial corridors; a graffiti team; a harm-reduction crew focusing on the Civic Center; hot spots encampment crews working seven days a week starting at 4:30 a.m.; manual block sweeping; mechanical street sweeping covering 150,000 curb miles; the Pit Stop public toilet program; a NEAT Streets program providing deep overnight cleaning of about 80 alleys; comprehensive outreach and enforcement; special cleanups for parades, protests and other events; a host of volunteer programs providing 60,000 hours of work annually; freeway ramp cleanups; mechanical bike lane sweeping; illegal dumping cleanups and more.

About San Francisco Public Works: The 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; greens the right of way; and educates our communities.

For more information, visit

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