Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Sunday Streets Experience: First of 2010 This Sunday

Nat Ford, Director of the Municipal Transportation Agency

Susan King, Sunday Streets Coordinator for Livable City

Andy Thornley, SFBC Program Director, and Dan Nguyen-Tan, SFBC Board Member

City officials and event organizers officially launched Sunday Streets 2010 from the steps of City Hall this afternoon. Nathaniel P. Ford, Executive Director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), praised the great success of the Sunday Streets program and its combination of city and private resources. "This is the best private/public partnership," Ford told the several dozen enthusiasts gathered in the sun. "We're increasing all sustainable modes of transportation in the city," he added. SFMTA is expanding its role with Sunday Streets and has become a full partner this year. Susan King, coordinator of the program for the non-profit group Livable City, acknowledged the other "essential program partners," including the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the YMCA, the California Outdoor Roller Skating Association, Bay City Bike Rental, and the Sports Basement.

Sunday Streets is an exuberant celebration of public spaces transformed for a day into more diverse uses. Walkers, runners, roller-bladers, bicyclists, tricyclists, skateboarders, people-watchers and scene-setters all manage to negotiate car-free streets with little trouble and few, if any, collisions. Are these really the "Streets of San Francisco"? The critical mass of so many San Franciscans having a good time together might prompt a second look at how well we get along given the opportunity.

This year there will be nine Sunday Streets compared to last year's six and the previous year's two outings. The hours of the event have been expanded to begin at 10 am and end at 3pm. The car-free days have been wildly popular among participants, and organizers expect 15,000 to 20,000 for each Sunday Street this year. This Sunday a 3.3 mile Embarcadero route from Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 to China Basin will be opened to all except those in vehicles. Walk, bike, or take transit to join in the fun Sunday. Look for David Chiu, President of the Board of Supervisors, riding the Funcycle.

"No Sunday Drivers Guaranteed"

NOPA neighbors: Start your Spring with a good bike spin, a family stroll, and a gathering of friends. Take a look along the route for programs that seem just right for September 19th when Sunday Streets comes to the Western Addition and NOPA. Kids' bike rodeo? Swing dance lessons? Kids' bike rodeo? Ice-cream outreach? Panhandle Promenade? Family fitness fair? Rock-climbing wall? Or something completely new and different?

For more information: check here. More than 1000 volunteers helped stage Sunday Streets during the last two years....and you can too by signing up here.

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