Sunday Streets Goes Back to the Bayview for Third Year of Car-Free Fun

4533044423_221b1f8455_o.jpgFlickr photo: sfbike

Sunday Streets returned to the Bayview and the Central Waterfront for a third straight year yesterday, welcomed by a resplendent, sunny day and thousands of participants on bike, foot and skate.

While the route is becoming a familiar jaunt for Sunday Streets veterans, many of the people out yesterday appeared to be first-timers — to Sunday Streets, and maybe even to bicycling. Unlike last Sunday’s route along the Great Highway, which was forced to end early because of a downpour, yesterday welcomed everyone with warm weather and enough sun to make the shade a sought-after commodity (performances at the Bayview Opera House are a good chance to sit under a tree for a while and cool off.)

But don’t fret if you missed out yesterday: Sunday Streets will return to Third Street on May 23 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., along with the Bayview Festival, which will stretch from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

IMG_1950.jpgTaking a break outside the Bayview Opera House. Photo: Michael Rhodes

4535433871_20a80d08e9_b.jpgPhoto: Bryan Goebel
4533045005_48aefd0a2b_b.jpgFlickr photo: sfbike
4533586420_a165c13475_b.jpgFlickr photo: Cheryl & Rich
4533682082_01cf826577_b.jpgA volunteer takes a well-deserved walk along the waterfront after Sunday Streets ends. Flickr photo: sfbike
IMG_1955.jpgCatching some jazz music — and shade — outside the Bayview Opera House. Photo: Michael Rhodes
  • Nick

    Any chance they’d consider extending the route a few blocks east so that it ends at the actual waterfront?

    Bayview needs a lot of livability issues addressed and unfortunately Sunday Streets is not going to be a catalyst of change. I worked out there last year and the things you see would not be allowed in other neighborhoods- heavy industry contaminants, air pollution from trucking, illegal dumping, speeding 60mph on residential streets.

  • sam

    Nick – in previous years – the route did extend east to Heron’s Head along Cargo Way and also went along Illinois. It also came to an end at the opera house previously. I really appreciated that this time they changed the route to go along third itself and extended much deeper into Bayview.

  • Nick

    I meant more like a few blocks east on Carrol, which is a also a bike route.

  • sally

    Would have been nice to end at Candlestick Park, which is right around the corner from Bayview Park.

  • CBrinkman

    As we like to say: Baby Steps, Baby Steps. It’s important to show that the program doesn’t cause mayhem as we try to build the routes. And there are some areas which present issues we would never have known about – but the MTA does know about. They do work very hard to build good routes, but nothing is perfect right away.

    The best thing you can do to help is to e-mail or call your Supervisor and the Mayor and let them know how much you like Sunday Streets and how much you want to see it continue and grow.

    Most people seem to support Sunday Streets, but a little reminder to your elected officials is always a big help.

    And as always – thanks for sharing your streets San Francisco!
    See you all May 23rd in the Bayview again.

  • icarus12

    Correction: Most people don’t give a fig about Sunday Streets, and those who are annoyed by them aren’t agitated enough to bother to write their public officials. I am a case a point. I don’t believe absolute segregation of cars and pedestrians/cyclists is a desirable thing at all. Let’s share the streets, nearly all the streets, all the time. The whole separation narrative, the damning of cars and elevating of pedestrians/cyclists, it’s all a huge waste of our time. But it sure makes the anti-car folks have their feel-good moment. Let’s concentrate on moving forward on public transit, more biking, more walking, safety for all, etc.

  • icarus12 your diatribe does not correllate with the fact that since this program started, merchants have demanded that the areas extend to their storefronts in Fisherman’s Wharf and on 24th St.

    Sunday Streets is no different than Bay To Breakers, Noe Valley Harvest Festival, Union St Fair, LovElution, Pride Parade, etc… that are very popular and in heavy demand by the citizens. Forget feel good moments, they are fun and popular. That’s never a bad thing.

  • icarus12

    It is not a diatribe to state the fact that many people DON’T like Sunday Streets and avoid them as a nuisance.

    That others do like them, that merchants like having more foot traffic — be it parade goers or Sunday Streets participants — stopping by their shops, is self-evident.

    What bugs me is that Sunday Streets seems like the sharp point of blunt instrument about to follow — shutting down streets to car traffic lots of the time instead of sharing streets sanely with all forms of human locomotion.

    A case in point or corollary is the of shutting down car traffic on JFK drive in Golden Gate Park. It started as an experiment on Sundays, but now it’s Saturdays too. There are anti-car advocates who want that condition to exist all days of the year.

    I can’t get my infirm father to those parts of park very easily. He walks, but painfully. His old favorite is the Conservatory of Flowers, and we just can’t go there when the street is shut down to cars and I can’t let him off in front before going to park the car elsewhere. NO taxi service either. That’s an example of how it would be better to have shared, sane streets rather than the other extremes: the separation model of pedestrian/cyclist only or the wild-west stupid car dominant model that makes being a pedestrian or cyclist unpleasant or dangerous.

    What I’m saying is that those who like Sunday Streets are vocal and organized. Those who find Sunday Streets a misguided project mostly grumble into their coffee cups or tell their dogs. Fido was out on a walk, so I told Streetsblog instead.

  • icarus12, there is shuttle service which serves disable users all along JFK drive on Saturdays and Sundays, and there are a great many parking lots which are accessible to it:

    http://www.sfgov.org/site/recpark_index.asp

    I realize it’s not as ideal as being able to drive directly to the front of the Conservatory, but it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable compromise to me. JFK is always packed on Sunday afternoons if it’s nice, so there are clearly a large number of park users who enjoy the car-free days.

    Also, certainly some people don’t care about Sunday Streets, obviously, but I’m not really sure how you can assert that most people don’t care about it and don’t express that opinion – how would you know if that was true?

  • icarus12

    Whir, thanks for the website with the shuttle info for Golden Gate Park. I wasn’t aware of any shuttle, and that service is going to help getting my dad into the Park on the weekends. He will have trouble with the steps, but I think together we can manage that. Ever the botanist, he will be thrilled to get back to the Conservatory!

    As to your question as to how I know most people don’t care about or like Sunday Streets — I don’t for sure. But then, why does anyone think Sunday Streets has widespread support? What’s the evidence for that. It seems likely that a tiny activist base has successfully pressured city officials to look pro-environment by supporting this tiny, inconvenient program?

    My reasoning as to the lack of broad or deep support for Sunday Streets is based on two things: anecdotes/overheard conversations and the observation that out a population of 800,000 in SF alone, each Sunday Street program seems comparably lightly attended. Compared to the Golden Gate Park Blues festival or Bay to Breakers, Gay Pride, the North Beach Fair, or Dore Alley Fair (I had to include that one for kicks.) there aren’t that many people participating. And it’s not for lack of publicity.

  • Icarus-

    Gay Pride brings in tourists from all over the world. There are people who spend their whole year saving up money to come here for Pride because nothing like it exists where they live. It ties up traffic all day and makes the City way more crowded the entire weekend.

    Bay to Breakers brings in people from all over the world to compete in the race (that part we forget about because we are too busy counting naked centipedes: ) It ties up traffic and makes the City more crowded the whole weekend.

    North Beach Festival brings in visitors from all over the Bay Area and ties up traffic……

    Everyone of those events turns SF into a traffic swirl. Each of them is invaluable because they are part of the flavour of SF- and each event takes over the streets from cars. So we have had Sunday Streets for years, we just didn’t realize it.

    As to attendance- you obviously didn’t attend any of the SS events. The Mission dates are packed with people enjoying the streets and it reminds me of what Carnival was like back when it still started at 20th & Capp (in my parking lot I might add). The Embarcadero dates are full of people from one end to another. The Ocean Beach event last year was such a joy- as a small kid I used to dream of roller skating on Upper Great Highway. None of these are lightly attended, they may seem so because of the stretched out nature of some of the routes, but they are packed.

    People are making themselves heard. They are coming out to car free streets. We should listen and try to figure out a way to reconceive how we look at our City so that more people can enjoy more of it more often.

    Oh, and that shuttle into the Park is fantastic! I hope your father enjoys it. There has been a great group playing amazing music in the tunnel at the Conservatory. I don’t know who they are, but I bet you and your Dad would enjoy it ūüôā

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