Eyes on the Street: Tenderloin Sunday Streets
Sunday from 11 to 4 p.m. it was the Tenderloin’s turn to enjoy its streets free of car traffic. The route followed Fulton St. between Hyde and Larkin, Larkin to Ellis St., Ellis to Jones St., Jones to Golden Gate Ave., and Golden Gate back to Larkin St. The streets were filled with various activities and opportunities, including a “kid’s bike swap” with the San Francisco Yellow Bike Project, seen above, where families could bring their children’s bikes to have them repaired or, if necessary, replaced for free (or with a donation).
That wasn’t the only thing available for Tenderloin families. A petting zoo was set up in the new bike lane on Golden Gate. Note: that’s the only time anything should be parked in that bike lane.
In fact, there was no shortage of transit information. Even Amtrak had a booth. Emily Castellanos, below, was there to promote the addition of a seventh daily “San Joaquin” trip between the Bay Area and the Central Valley.
And no open streets event would be complete without two of San Francisco’s best known and most ubiquitous safe-streets advocacy organizations, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) and Walk San Francisco. The SFBC was giving parents a chance to try out a family bike, seen below.
Marselle Alexander-Ozinskas (white t-shirt) and Meghan Arnold (green), both on the board of Walk SF, were collecting signatures for safe streets. “The main concern of residents is just being able to cross the street,” said Alexander-Ozinskas. They’re worried about “cars moving at high speed, and high volume.” She added this is especially a concern with so many seniors in the Tenderloin.
Helen Bean, a Senior Adviser with the Tenderloin Economic Development Project, said the new bike lane on Golden Gate makes a big difference for people. She also said that, unlike in some other neighborhoods, Tenderloin businesses support more bike lanes. “Anything that moves people around gets more business.” Especially here, she added, because “this is much more a walk and bike area.” At her booth residents were invited to write their main concerns and desires for the neighborhood on the table.
Small world: Danica Helb was there too. Readers may recall she was the cyclist who got pepper sprayed by a motorist earlier this year. Although she was having fun at the event, she reported that SFPD has still not produced any results in the investigation of the assault, even though they were provided a photograph of the suspect’s car and license plate back in January.
But on Sunday, for a few hours in the Tenderloin, some streets in San Francisco were truly safe, relaxed, and as they should be: available for people to enjoy.
Did you go to the Tenderloin Sunday Streets event? Share your experiences below.