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Sunday Streets of San Francisco

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Sunday Streets of San Francisco

Bicyclists take to Valencia Street during a Sunday Streets afternoon in the Mission.

Photo by Aaron Cole.

Sunday Afternoon - Free Fun on the Streets:

Transforming car-clogged city streets into one giant playground might be a child’s idea of a miracle. But it is a regular occurrence in San Francisco thanks to the Sunday Streets program, and on April 13, 2014, the miracle happens in the Tenderloin.

The Tenderloin is an ideal spot for the Sunday afternoon block party because of its high density of households with children and without cars and its dearth of parks and open space (it has the lowest amount of park space per capita in San Francisco, according to Sunday Streets). On April 13 from 11 am until 4 pm, Fulton St. between Hyde and Larkin, Larkin to Ellis St., Ellis to Jones St., Jones to Golden Gate Ave.,and Golden Gate Ave. to Larkin St. will be closed to motor vehicles and turned over to at least a three-ring circus. There will be chockablock activities offered for free, such as roller disco, yoga and Zumba sessions, mural painting, massages, skateboarding ramps, guide-led walking tours and performances by bands and dance troupes. The Tenderloin National Forest will lead art activities. Community organizations will provide information and their ear, and UCSF will conduct free dental screenings for kids and HIV tests.

Outside the San Francisco Public Library, there’ll be LEGOs to build with, books to read and ukulele and sewing lessons. StoryCorps will record people who want to talk about their personal or family history. Radman’s Produce Market on Turk St. celebrates its redesign, which includes an inventory of healthier foods, with music, capoeira and kung fu demonstrations and prizes and games. Also near Turk and Jones, Board of Supervisors member Jane Kim will host office hours. 
 

Living Car-Free:

Since Sunday Streets is all about a car-free existence, it naturally highlights other means of getting around. People are welcome to arrive on and with their bicycles, skates, scooters, strollers, roller blades and skateboards--or, of course, on foot. At Larkin and Fulton, you can register your bike with the SAFE Bikes, a program that's a partnership with the San Francisco Police Department. Bicycles can be rented on-site for free, and stations provide free bike repairs. 

At every Sunday Streets event, The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition leads its popular "Freedom from Training Wheels" workshop for kids as young as age 2, which coaches them on how to balance, pedal and turn without the extra two wheels. Bring your children’s bikes and helmets. Otherwise, the coalition has a few “balance bikes,” that don’t have pedals, for youngsters to use. The workshop will be held on Ellis between Hyde and Leavenworth, where you can also see demos of electric bikes. 
 

The Origin of Sunday Streets:

San Francisco started Sunday Streets in 2008 to encourage people to get out, get active, mingle and see different parts of town. We love that we're generally ahead of the curve, but this is one idea we can’t claim as ours. It originated in 1976 in Bogotá, Colombia, where it was named Ciclovía (which means “bike path” in Spanish). Now held every Sunday, Ciclovía bans cars on more than 70 miles of streets in 20 different neighborhoods of Bogota. And now cities such as Tokyo and Kiev have versions of it.

 

San Francisco’s Sunday Streets - 2014:

Sunday Streets runs from 11 am to 4 pm on the dates below.

  • March 9: The Embarcadero
  • April 13: Tenderloin
  • May 4: Bayview and Dogpatch
  • June 8: Great Highway
  • July 13: Richmond District
  • August 24: Mission District 
  • Sept. 14: Western Addition
  • Sept 28: Excelsior
  • Oct. 19: Mission District

 

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