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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 July 13, 2014, the miracle happens in the Richmond District. 

That Sunday, from 11 am until 4 pm, Arguello Boulevard  between Lake 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, Bollywood and hip-hop dance performances, arts and crafts fun for kids, acrobats and circus performers, a photo booth and yoga lessons. Government agencies, senior centers and community groups will be offering information and their ear. And there’ll be live music aplenty, including an open bluegrass jam session you can join.

Nearby, on Clement St. between Arguello and 3rd Ave., the Clement St. Farmers Market will be happening. In the Presidio, the Presidio Family Fun Festival and Off the Grid will be in full swing, with a free shuttle between the Presidio Main post and Arguello and Lake running until 5 pm.

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. Bicycles can be rented on-site for free, 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 workshop will be at Arguello and Anza. There, you can also register your bike with SAFE Bikes, a program that's a partnership with the San Francisco Police Department.

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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