Sunday Streets Returns to Chinatown (But Not North Beach) This Weekend

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Sunday Streets returns to Chinatown this weekend with a car-free route running along Grant Avenue and east toward the Embarcadero. It’ll be Sunday Streets’ second run in Chinatown, following a highly popular event last year, but the route will be different: Rather than running into North Beach all the way to Coit Tower, it’ll turn east at Jackson Street toward the waterfront.

Sunday Streets organizer Susan King said the route was changed to avoid disrupting Muni service on Columbus Avenue, which will help accommodate the crowds headed to the America’s Cup yacht race this weekend. On a block of Battery Street, where the route jogs over from Jackson to Washington Street, King said a temporary transit-only lane will be created to allow Muni and Golden Gate Transit buses to run through. “I am curious to see if this helps speed transit up since there are no cars to compete for road space with,” she said.

However, while King said organizers would aim to include North Beach in the following years, the neighborhood’s exclusion from the event was a surprise and a disappointment to local residents and merchants, said Mike Sonn, head of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers Parking and Transportation Committee.

“Sunday Streets provides an excellent opportunity to experience a great neighborhood in an exciting new way and to expose our unique collection of local businesses to thousands of visitors and residents alike,” he said. “We look forward to working with Sunday Streets in the future to ensure that North Beach becomes a staple in the annual line-up.”

To be sure, folks from around the city will be coming to the area for the usual abundance of activities, including the annual ping pong tournament at Portsmouth Square, Tai Chi classes, a preview exhibit of the new Exploratorium, and, of course, free bike rentals and bike riding lessons for kids. Unlike last year, bicycle riding will be allowed along the entire route.

See you out there.

  • It’s also coming to Fairfax this Sunday! It’s the first one in Marin, so come on by for a small-town Sunday Streets.

  • mikesonn

    Thank you for the write up. While saddened by the fact North Beach is not included, it will be an excellent event and highlights the need to make Grant Street car-free all the time.

  • Noticed that the stretch on Jackson and Washington were pretty empty. Ideal for kids on training wheels I guess.

    Heads up! Sunday Streets is also coming to Berkeley:

  • mikesonn

    Not many residents down there and a lot of law offices and antique shops that are only M-F.