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San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza hosts carnival, city hopes it will turn area around

Could cotton candy and rides help turn San Francisco’s Civic Center around?

The city is betting on that being a start as four-day carnival is taking place in an area dealing with long-standing problems around open air drug markets and safety.

There were tons of families came to enjoy the carnival Friday. While many NBC Bay Area spoke with think this is a great step, some say it’s just one of many the city needs to take to change the perception that San Francisco isn’t safe.

“It’s something you can do with your family an opportunity to come out especially in this area, I think it makes a world of difference especially for the residents here,” said San Francisco resident Lilliana Kroll.

Just block away in the Tenderloin, residents and tourists can run into open-air drug markets. You could run into this.

“With all the open-air drug markets and I definitely believe that we need to reform this whole community,” said Alexia Saabedra of San Francisco.

During the pandemic, the Civic Center Plaza was the site of tents for the unhoused.

Since then, the area has seen Whole Foods temporarily shuttering, citing safety concerns. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’d bring in state military and police resources to combat the fentanyl crisis in the area.

The carnival itself comes after the city’s Rec. and Parks announced a pilot program to transform neighboring UN Plaza. It’s scheduled to break ground in September, along with an additional eight additional new park rangers to patrol.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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