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Sunday Streets: Come Out and Play on August 31st and September 14th!

Photo taken by Jamie Whitaker

This is very exciting! The City is taking a bold step towards expanding the open recreational space in areas (like Rincon Hill) that sorely lack such permanent resources with a test run on two Sunday mornings this summer and fall.

If you did not have to worry about traffic on a stretch of roadway and wide sidewalks running from Bayview to the waterfront (Embarcadero) to Chinatown for a few hours on a Sunday, what activities might you want to do? What group activities should be set up along the route for folks to meet their neighbors and to get exercise? Please join us on Sunday, August 31st and Sunday, September 14th between 9am and 1pm to get some exercise, meet your neighbors, and have fun!

Here is some preliminary information (this is pretty darn hot off the press, so some details may change) about San Francisco’s first two Sunday Streets events.

Sunday Streets is a pilot program that will bring physical activity space to San Francisco neighborhoods on Sunday mornings this summer and fall. These Sunday morning activities will create a route for thousands of local families, kids and adults to walk, jog, and bike, as well as participate in group exercise. The program will offer safe and free activities that will attract people from throughout the city and the entire Bay Area. It represents our city’s next innovative step toward a healthier community.

Modeled on a 25-year old program in Bogota, Columbia, Sunday morning street activities have proven to be wildly popular on three continents in cities ranging from Tokyo to Kiev. American cities like Chicago, Portland, and New York are planning to hold similar events.

Sunday Streets is an innovative way to connect local residents to San Francisco’s neighborhoods, and support local businesses in the process. It literally brings open space to local residents, activating local corridors with healthy activities and demonstrating the benefits of increasing open space and recreational opportunities within our city.

The scheduling of these pilot events on Sunday mornings maximizes the number of local residents who can participate and minimizes interruptions to auto traffic.

How will Sunday Streets work?
The city will open up a stretch of roadway connecting the Bayview district to Chinatown and running along the city’s waterfront. This route will be available for physical activities from 9AM to 1PM on two Sundays in the late summer and early fall: August 31 and September 14.

How much will it cost?
Sunday Streets is free to all participants. Some will enjoy the route by strolling, skating, cycling, or just people-watching. Others will participate in free group events such as tai chi, yoga, aerobics and other activities. These group events will be spaced out along the route.

Who can participate?
San Francisco residents, families, local businesses. Come one come all. It is likely that residents from throughout the City and the Bay Area will take advantage of this unique opportunity to safely enjoy the streets and explore new neighborhoods.

How will SUNDAY STREETS impact city traffic?
Sunday Streets will be held on Sunday mornings, which is the time during the week with minimal auto traffic. Pilot dates have been selected to avoid overlap with other large events with traffic impacts (for example Giants and 49ers games and street fairs). Additionally, the route will be a ‘soft closure’ with cross traffic allowed at a limited number of points along the route and auto access for residents and businesses located within the closed route. This type of closure has worked very well in other cities around the world.

Who will benefit?
Sunday Streets offers free and fun physical activity space to all San Franciscans and provides open space in neighborhoods that lack such space currently. Local businesses will also benefit from increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic along commercial corridors. The events provide a model of how cities can provide healthy, environmental friendly outdoor activities for their residents.

If this is something we want on a regular basis as opposed to having to travel over to another neighborhood for recreation because we lack the open space in Rincon Hill, please participate during these two test days!

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