The demand for car-free streets in San Francisco is easy to see at the Sunday Streets events around the city. If there’s no Sunday Street in your neighborhood, though, not to worry: You can bring a car-free event right to your doorstep.
With a little outreach to your neighbors, a permit application, and a fee, it may be easier than you think.
My block in the Inner Sunset did it this Sunday for the tenth year in a row for its annual block party, bringing neighbors together for a potluck, games, and conversation.
Organizer Walter Van Riel said once he put the vehicle barriers in place, the street was transformed in an instant. “Not more than five minutes later, I heard the sound of kids playing in the street,” he said.
Going car-free relieves streets of the noise and danger normally present, which can prevent kids from playing outside and inhibit relationships between neighbors. Mary Deely, who has lived on the block since 1970, said without the block party, she wouldn’t know her neighbors as well. “I wave to people, but I don’t really talk to them until the block party,” she said.