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Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 4/28/20, AM

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Rent Relief Options / San Francisco Park Street Closures

Rent Relief Options

We’re coming up on the end of the month, and thousands of people who’ve lost income because of the coronavirus crisis are going to struggle to pay their May rent. Sarah Steinmeiner works with Legal Services of Northern California. She says tenants who can’t pay should tell their landlords in writing before the rent is due. Also, they should keep all documents proving that COVID-19 is the reason they lost income:

“That might be a letter from their employer laying them off. Or it might be a letter reducing their hours. It could be something showing that they had to stay home to care for a child due to the school closures.”

Now, California’s courts have placed a freeze on eviction proceedings statewide. But there are no rules that exempt tenants from paying their rent. Advocates advise renters to pay it if they can afford to. Meanwhile, some lawmakers have proposed legislation to give renters more time to pay back rent once the coronavirus emergency is lifted.

San Francisco Park Street Closures

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced, yesterday, that the city will close two more city streets to vehicles and open them up for pedestrians and bicyclists. Both John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park and John F. Shelley Drive in John McLaren Park will be completely closed to vehicles through the duration of the stay-at-home order to ensure space for physical distancing for people walking, jogging or biking. Breed said in a statement: "We know that people need to go outside, whether to get exercise or just to clear their head, and closing JFK and Shelley Drive to cars will make it easier for people who choose to leave their home to stay 6 feet apart from others.” She added that people should continue to stay at home as much as possible and follow all public health recommendations.

JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park will be closed to traffic from Kezar Drive to Transverse Drive — the usual summer Sunday closure. Shelley Drive in McLaren Park will be closed to traffic at the gates at Cambridge and Mansell streets— just down the street from KALW, as a matter of fact. The two streets closed to vehicles, yesterday, add to a growing network of streets that have been temporarily closed to vehicles recently. Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency opened up a number of streets to pedestrians and bicyclists as part of the Slow Streets program.