SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Bay Area Rapid Transit officials are seeking to close a walkway at San Francisco’s Civic Center station that has been a magnet for drug users in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and BART’s board have been looking for a solution to the daily congregation of drug users in the walkway connecting the 7th St. and 8th St. exits since KPIX 5 aired a video last month showing drug users shooting up and passed out along the walkway.

The proposal is to place walls to block off the hallway, with a door on each end for employees and police to use when needed.

BART Director Bevan Dufty says the site is the root of one of BART’s biggest problems. “This is pretty much ground zero for injection drug use in and around the Civic Center BART station,” said Dufty. “Unfortunately, this has just become the focus of a lot of illegal activity: injection site, crack smoking … it’s intimidating and threatening to our riders and employees.”

Closing the walkway would require getting approval from the state fire marshal, which is something BART is working on now.

Dufty says having passengers take a few extra steps would mean a better overall experience with BART, something he says the Civic Center station is sorely in need of.

“I met an escalator repair person who in his first month was chased with an axe right here,” said Dufty. “Would you wonder why we have trouble keeping our escalator repair people and why it’s an issue? I mean, people shouldn’t work in these circumstances.”

BART officials say it will likely take several weeks for a decision to be made on the walkway closure. If approved, the closure would not necessarily be permanent as officials would want to see how effective it is in deterring drug usage in the station and then go from there.

Comments (4)
  1. The proposed solution to close the hallways out making Civic center into two separate islands. This forces the disabled to use the streets to get from one end to another. So once again the solution is to not take any law enforcement action to enforce existing laws regarding trespass, illicit drug use, public intoxication, drug sales, blocking the right of way etc… It’s much easier to wall off the area and inconvenience law abiding citizens so that the miscreants can thrive and be unmolested by Police. This is the brokenness that has destroyed a once great city.

    1. Amen brother, you are exactly correct.

  2. Typical San Francisco non-response.
    San Francisco mayor says the BART stations are not within the jurisdiction of SFPD… I call B.S.
    SFPD CAN and SHOULD crack down on the drug users, and the homeless trespassers. They just don’t want to. Who can blame them? Have you smelled these people?