San Francisco, long considered a model of progressive urban policy, is plagued by filth, chaos, and public-safety hazards. Local leaders plan to spend an incredible $305 million on combatting homelessness for the current fiscal year alone, but disorder spreads as the city fails to enforce the rule of law and basic sanitary measures. Block-by-block surveillance reveals the deterioration of downtown San Francisco. Of 153 city blocks surveyed, 41 contained used drug needles and 96 had human feces present.
Tourists are dismayed to leave their downtown hotels, to be confronted by mentally ill and aggressive homeless people who are taking control of the streets. University of California Berkeley professor Lee Riley, an expert on infectious disease, observes that some of San Francisco’s streets are dirtier than Third World slums.