“We want a name that is easy for a tourist to see,” said Eva Lee of the Chinese Merchants Association, in support of calling the stop simply Chinatown Station.
Lee was among many opponents who talked about how divisive the naming had become among residents. “I hope you can resolve this division for our community and not divide us. And have it be a win-win situation,” she said.
Last week, people marched through Chinatown to protest naming the station after Pak, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
After the Embarcadero Freeway was torn down following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, cutting a major artery to Chinatown, Pak fought for a train line to connect the community to the city’s downtown — and bring in tourists in the process, the Chronicle reported. The 1.7-mile long, $1.6-billion subway line is slated to open in January.
In June, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution urging the SFMTA to name the station, “Chinatown Rose Pak Station.”
Rev. Norman Fong of the Chinatown Community Development Center said Pak certainly had “rough sides and the thorns,” but “it was her heart for Chinatown,” that motivated her. “I hope that San Francisco will honor a bold fierce leader like her,” he said.
In the end, the agency voted 4-3 to do that. SFMTA Director Steve Heminger, who was one of the aye votes, said that while Pak was divisive, “I don’t think divisiveness is disqualifying from civic recognition.”