SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Barricades placed at the south end of Capp Street to prevent drivers from soliciting sex workers in the residential area have already been broken down multiple times, according to photos and video obtained by KRON4. However, according to one neighbor, the barricades are working.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen and others hoped that adding barricades to the street and increasing officer patrols would decrease the amount of potential clients or “Johns” in the area. Local police said they planned to have a dedicated officer at the location to issue citations on Fridays and Saturdays.

Photos obtained by KRON4 show the dead-end barricades in various states of disarray. Some appeared to have been knocked over by hand, while others are smashed as though hit by a car.

A resident who lives nearby and is a member of the Capp Street Community Watch spoke with KRON4 about the barriers — she asked to remain anonymous out of concern for her safety. She tells KRON4 that though they are getting broken down, the barricades are working.

“It has been so quiet every night since they were installed. Not only are there hardly any cars, but there are hardly any sex workers,” the resident said. Neighbors in the community watch group say they have been able to sleep through the night for the first time in quite a while.

One surprising result of the barricades being broken down has been the community coming together to solve the problem, the resident says.

“Neighbors have been fixing the barriers all weekend. This has been annoying; however, at the same time, this tremendous display of teamwork and community amongst Capp neighbors has been amazing, and many neighbors are meeting new people on their block even after having lived here a long time. Kids were riding bikes out front of their houses in the afternoon, and more neighbors were walking up and down the streets during the day and late afternoon, an unintended but positive effect.” — Member of Capp Street Community Watch  

Left photo: before the barricades, Right photo: after the barricades

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San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins broke down how the city currently handles cases against suspected Johns:

Currently, citations for solicitation are referred to our neighborhood courts for adjudication. Johns referred to neighborhood court are expected to abide by the agreements they make with community members including going to John School and pledging to not repeat their behavior. 14 Johns have been referred to neighborhood court.

SF DA Brooke Jenkins

What exactly is John School? KRON4 interviewed Dr. Michael Shively with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation to learn more about it.

“One of the key messages is trying to do empathy building. Get them to understand that what they are doing is harmful,” he said of John School.

Supervisor Ronen tells residents in the area that the Department of Public Works will be bringing out heavier barricades to Capp Street on Monday. The current supply of barricades will only account for one or two of the blocks that need barriers, but more should be available in the coming weeks, the resident said.