Ever wonder which street corners most often function as the SF’s drug markets?

Wonder no longer, because we now have detailed maps showing the busiest blocks for dealing the deadliest drugs.

The maps, produced by software engineer Katie Hempenius, reveals that the busiest block for our local narcotics trade is Hyde Street between Turk and Golden Gate. According to Hempenius, “this block is also the geographic center of the narcotics trade. With the exception of the 6th Street & 9th Street areas of SOMA (which are hubs for meth and crack, respectively), the narcotics trade is generally concentrated around Civic Center.”

Hempenius produced the maps using the SFPD’s incident reports between September 2016 and August 2017. The data she used reflects where the highest number of narcotics related citations are issued by the SFPD. Yes, that does mean an argument could be made that the maps are biased by where police resources are allocated. She broke the data down into three maps: meth, crack cocaine, and heroin.

Looking at the map it appears meth dealers tend to stay away from the areas frequented by crack cocaine and heroin dealers. The busiest block for meth is the “one-block segment of 6th Street between Jessie and Natoma Streets.” She adds “within that block, the busiest spot for meth activity seems to be at the intersection of 6th Street and Minna.”

According to Hempenius, heroin and crack cocaine share Hyde Street between Turk and Golden Gate, but they do appear to have a north and south divide. She writes, “when compared to crack, heroin seems to have a slightly more southern distribution within Civic Center. The crack trade is prominent as far north as Geary Street, while the heroin trade starts to taper off after Turk Street.”

Check out all three maps here.

Hempenius chose not to include other parts of San Francisco because it was clear that the drug trade is heavily concentrated around Civic Center. Her one caveat is 16th Street & Mission BART station where there’s “a non-negligible level of narcotics activity (primarily involving meth or crack)”


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