Sunday Streets Inspires Throngs of Revelers, Business Booms

SS_Bryan_1_small.jpgPhotos: Bryan Goebel.
With the fourth Sunday Streets in the Mission over the past two years recently completed, the verdict is in and the community is very happy with the results. In addition to the tens of thousands of people coming out to enjoy the sun and open streets while pedaling and strolling, the events have had a very positive impact on the bottom line.

According to Susan King, primary Sunday Streets organizer with Livable City, the businesses in the Mission have been clamoring for more than just two events each year. "They are the ones who said come back, we want it every week," she said. "They wouldn't be saying this if it had a negative impact on their business."

Though there aren't current plans to have additional Sunday Streets events in the Mission this year, Mayor Gavin Newsom has committed to making the events an annual feature in San Francisco. Limitations on additional events at this point would be primarily financial, unless a significant donor came forward to provide consistent sponsorship.

Despite this, King described the Mission, which has consistently been the busiest of all the Sunday Streets events, as the ideal ciclovia location. "This is the most overall supportive neighborhood, in terms of residents, spontaneous activities, the music, the fact that the inconvenience is far outweighed by the excitement of the day."

To this end, King said the city received the fewest complaints during the Mission Sunday Streets, in addition to the large turnout. She attributed the success in the Mission to the strong community and the density of the neighborhood.

The other event that has drawn the most excitement and the fewest concerns in previous years is the event on the Great Highway, which is also the next on the calendar for this year. The Great Highway Sunday Streets will be on August 22nd from 10-3 pm. That will be followed by the Western Addition, NOPA and Japantown on September 19th. The last Sunday Streets of 2010 will be on October 24th in the Civic Center and Tenderloin.

For more information, go to the Sunday Streets website here.

Bryan Goebel contributed reported for this story.

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