“Penguins to Penguins” Sunday Streets Kicks Off This Weekend

great_highway_bike.jpgNow imagine riding on that road. Flickr photo: J.B. Davis

The next two Sunday Streets are moving from the heart of the busy Mission to two of San Francisco’s more picturesque natural locales as it winds through Golden Gate Park to the Great Highway along Ocean Beach.

This Sunday, August 9th and again on Sunday, September 6th, the city will close approximately six miles (including the portion on JFK through the park), the longest route yet. The events will run from 10 am – 2 pm.

"Each route brings a different set of challenges and this one is no different," said Susan King, Sunday Streets organizer for Livable City. "There are only two intersections on this one, versus more than forty on the Mission route. This is the longest route to date and will be a great bike ride route."

In addition to the usual Sunday Streets activities
– free bike rentals provided by Bike & Roll and Bay City Bicycle
Rentals and Tours, dance lessons by Cheryl Burke Dance (of Dancing with
the Stars fame), a skating rink and lessons with David Miles (aka ‘the
Godfather of Skate’) – there will be Russian dance demonstrations,
displays provided by ‘Playland-Not-At-The-Beach’ museum and penguin-themed activities by the California Academy of Sciences and the San
Francisco Zoo.

"This route connects the California Academy and institutions in the Concourse of Golden Gate Park to the San Francisco Zoo," said Livable City Board President Cheryl Brinkman. "We have dubbed it ‘Penguins to Penguins.’"

According to event organizers, the inaugural Sunday Streets events in 2008 drew more than 15,000 people each weekend creating huge demand for more. Last month’s event in the Mission drew upwards of 25,000 participants. 

We look forward to seeing you out there. Please submit your photos to our Flickr account here. Check out a map of the route after the jump.

Route_small.jpgClick to enlarge. Image: Sunday Streets

  • Nick

    During the winter rains, they close the Great Highway to cars about once a week. It happens so often that they installed movable gates at both ends.

    It’s actually pretty nice to be able to ride that close to the ocean. People are in for a treat.

    Here’s my wish list for advocacy by the beach:

    -Bike parking at Ocean Beach please. There is not one single bike rack there. GGNRA says they can’t install any by the seawall because it is historic. Bike corrals in the parking lots maybe?

    -Repave and widen the Great Highway mutual use path.

    -A physically separated bike lane on the upper Great Highway. There are no curb cuts or ROW conflicts.

    -Traffic calm the few streets that are bike routes. There are no bike lanes in the Outer Sunset, a district which is 2×2 miles long.

  • Aaron B.

    “GGNRA says they can’t install any by the seawall because it is historic. Bike corrals in the parking lots maybe?”

    How the hell is it still “historic” with a parking lot, but not with bike racks?

  • ZA

    If a historical argument has to be made, try to dig up private letters of the early Wheelmen of San Francisco, and see if any of them dared the dunes of the Outside Lands and Ocean Beach with their early bicycles.

    That’ll give you a case with GGNRA for historical precedent and modern restoration.

  • susan king

    What a great day! I am still in awe, tons of folks showed up to fill the Great Highway with bikers, skaters, walkers of all ages- fun in the (almost) sun. thanks to all who showed up and made this a great day for Sunday Streets!
    susan king
    sunday streets 2009

  • ZA

    A truly fantastic day, but seeing how the fog cleared up after 2pm, and stayed clear through 4pm, it’s a reminder of how much better Sunday Streets can be *later into the day.*

  • soylatte

    Excellent day! I loved the Mission SS, but it was great to experience something different today. I didn’t mind the fog at the beach — then again I don’t like to be baked in the sun. It was amazing to see the Great Highway taken over by bikes, pedestrians, kids and dogs. Every day should be like this.

    A minor complaint is that the info booths were not very great and where most of them were (at the end of Lincoln), they were too close together and the area was a pretty badly congested. It was clearly not made with people in mind who walk their bikes. I hope next time the booths will be more spread out and more interestingly positioned.

    I also didn’t like the Lanceholes on JFK, fully decked out in spandex, speeding amongst the less experienced riders and kids, endangering everyone. I wish they would have stayed away. I think it would have been useful for the organizers to step in and slow down these morons (who no doubt arrived in their cars, with their road bikes strapped to the roof).

    My wife and I stayed and picnicked along JFK – to get our food we had to brave the car sewer known as 19th Ave. for a block or two, and the contrast could not have been stronger. It just made it painfully obvious that Sunday Streets is a truly magical place / time!

    Kudos to the guy who I think was part of Rock The Bike (or at least was riding a bike with a custom sound system that looked like was made by RTB). As we sat and chilled, he kept looping around and must have ridden by at least 10-15x. That guy was riding a century!

  • jim

    This was the best of the Sunday Streets so far. The route effectively extended GGPark along the ocean creating miles of car free biking nirvana. Until yesterday, I never realized how beautiful the dunes of Ocean Beach are as I pedaled along without worrying about cars hitting me, hearing their noise or breathing their fumes.

    It seems that the Great Highway has enough capacity for cars with just two lanes instead of the current four. It would be great to take two of the lanes and make it car-free allowing only bikes, rollerbladers, etc. That and a seamless connection to GG Park would be a boon to the city. Can anyone who lives out that way comment on the capacity of the Great Highway?

    One of the things I like most about Sunday Streets is that allows you to see how much space is being devoted to cars. On Valencia, without cars, you can see how vastly wide the street is. That was certainly true yesterday. It was fantastic to have the spectacular scenery of the beachand the urban texture adjacent to it open for all to appreciate in a new way.

    I also enjoyed the music of Fossil Fool and Tornado Rider. I look forward to the next Sunday Streets.

  • soylatte

    BTW, we came across Carmen Chu walking on Great Highway with her dog. I’m fairly certain it was her.

  • -Repave and widen the Great Highway mutual use path

    This is actually a bad idea. Not the “repave” part but a path like this is well served to have a graded dirt section on the outside of the paved portion of the path. Ask any runner over the age of 25. And as bad as we like to complain about how this city is for cycling, the options for runners are sort of limited. This path is awesome with the dirt outside the path to run on.

    It’s really not great to run on the roadway, so you run on the sidewalk which is (1) Concrete and even worse on the knees than asphalt and (2) requires you to break stride to enter/exit roadways at intersections.

    The dirt sidepath is also good for our canine friends who aren’t so well served tromping along on pavement either.

  • Nick

    You know what would be an awesome idea- take the 2 lanes of traffic closest to the beach and turn them over to pedestrians and cyclists. Automobiles on that road only need one lane of traffic in each direction (with a rebuilt center divider for everyone safety).


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