Sunday Afternoon - Free Fun on the Streets:
Transforming a car-clogged street that stretches over a few miles 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 March 9, 2014, the miracle happens on more than 3 miles of the Embarcardero. It’s the kick-off of the Sunday Streets season of 2014, which includes nine sessions in different neighborhoods through late October.
On March 9 from 11 am until 4 pm, the Embarcadero from Fisherman’s Wharf to AT&T Park, and 3rd St. and Terry Francois Blvd. between King St. and Mission Bay North Blvd., 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 basketball and soccer games, rock climbing, a BINGO game/tour, painting and arts and crafts activities, a tide pool at the Aquarium by the Bay and whale row boat rides at Pier 52. Performances include belly, bhangra and break dancing. Government agencies and community groups will be offering information and their ear, and health organizations will conduct free blood pressure, dental and HIV screenings. And there’ll be live music aplenty, including a bluegrass jam session at Pier 40.
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 Harry Bridges Plaza, you can register your bike with the SAFE Bikes, a program that's a partnership with the San Francisco Police Department. Bicycles Bicycles can be rented on-site for free, and stations provide free bike repairs and valet parking.
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 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. 26: Mission District