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 October 27, 2013, the miracle happens on Clement Street and Arguello Boulevard. It’s the last Sunday Streets session of 2013, and the only time it’s been held in the Richmond District.
That Sunday, from 11 am until 4 pm, the stretch of Clement St. between Funston Ave. and Arguello Blvd., and Arguello between Clement and Fulton, 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 belly dance performances, salsa, cha cha and other dance lessons, a photo booth, yoga lessons and multiple Zumba spots. Debuting on the Richmond’s streets will be a mobile art work: A wishing well on wheels made by two artists, ready to roll and receive wishes. The San Francisco Sea Scouts will be throwing ropes and tying knots, the Richmond YMCA is staging games and an obstacle course, and Green Apple Bookstore is hosting a 1-3 pm open mic for writers and readers.
Rossi Pool has sessions for various ages and levels of swimmers for a nominal fee ($1-$5), and the Clement Street Farmers Market will be running on Clement between 5th and Arguello. Government agencies, nursery schools, senior centers, health clinics and community groups will be offering information and their ear. And there’ll be live music aplenty, including a bluegrass jam session emceed by Jeanie & Chuck Poling at the Velo Rouge Café.
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. Bicycles can be rented on-site for free, and stations provide free bike repairs. The neighborhood’s San Francyclo bike shop will do riding demos of the latest models, and the New Wheel store will show off electric ones.
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 - 2013:
Sunday Streets runs from 11 am to 4 pm on the dates below.
- March 10: The Embarcadero
- April 14: Mission District
- June 9: Bayview and Dogpatch
- July 7: Great Highway
- July 28: Mission District
- August 18: Tenderloin
- Sept. 8: Western Addition
- Sept 29: Excelsior
- Oct. 27: Richmond District