SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – We are now just a few weeks away from the start of the APEC summit in San Francisco. The week-long event is set to bring in a host of world leaders, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
On Wednesday, people who live and work in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena community met with city officials to learn how their lives will be affected by the event.
Many people attending the meeting live within the area that will be shut down due to high security for the APEC summit. Many became frustrated when they learned just how much this would disrupt their day-to-day lives during the week of Nov. 11.
The APEC summit is a national special security event, which means four downtown blocks near the Moscone Center will be locked down from Nov. 14 through Nov. 17. Officials released a map and information about the closures last week, but many who live and work in the area were left with a lot of unanswered questions.
John Anderson, the general manager of Marriott Marquis, says they are excited to be sold out of rooms. But now they need to figure out the logistics for guests and employees.
“Concerns for us, obviously how to we get 700 associates to and from work,” he said.
Anderson was among dozens in the Yerba Buena community looking for clarity. The city’s assessor, SFMTA, police and Secret Service answered questions from people about road closures and public transportation.
People became most upset when they learned no cars would be allowed in or out during a 72-hour period.
“I feel like this whole thing was just planned without even asking. I don’t remember receiving a poll. Instead, you’re just like ‘Oh you can’t drive. This is a security zone. It’s done.’ We were not thought about,” one community member said.
Some residents asked what they are supposed to do about driving to work or to doctor’s appointments. City officials recommended people walk out of the security zones and take public transportation or a ride share.
“Who is not represented here is all our seniors and those with disabilities. They cannot walk, okay? We have food delivery for everything. Groceries,” another community member said.
San Francisco supervisors acknowledged the disruption APEC will cause. They passed a resolution this week urging the city to repay residents and business owners who were financially impacted.
“The city is likely to do pretty well with revenue from hotel taxes and things like that if there are businesses or residents that are put out that need to be compensated. I would like a fair process where we are considering things we can do through non-profits to take care of our residents and neighborhoods,” said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey.
The city assessor says they are still going door-to-door to businesses and homes in the area to work on solutions. People are advised to call 3-1-1 for updated information about the event.