Monday, October 4, 2010

B2B at 100: AEG Pitches Management Plan But Who Will Step Up for the After-Party?

2010 Bay to Breakers on Fell Street approaching Masonic Avenue
Bay to Breakers' 100th anniversary is only seven months and a few days away, and corporate manager AEG has stepped up with plans for a more closely monitored and controlled foot race. Yet the out-of-control "binge fest" atmosphere of the after-party of the last few years remains the trouble spot with neither AEG or, so far, the city assuming responsibility for full coordination of it. The 100th Bay to Breakers Neighborhood Task Force remains optimistic that both the foot race and the party will get the attention they require, but the group's leaders will protest granting B2B a permit if the sponsor or city doesn't follow through with a plan.

On September 16th, AEG representatives Angela Fang and Sam Singer pitched their management plan to the Task Force that has spearheaded a push to make the iconic celebration -- especially the after-party -- safer and more respectful to neighborhood residents along the route.* AEG had previously announced much of its strategy in community meetings and to the media. The major elements include prohibition of alcohol, required registration to be on the course, no floats, and all streets open to traffic by noon, additional fencing along the race course, increased private security and a greater SF Police Department presence. AEG will also conduct extensive marketing and community outreach to emphasize the fun and safety aspects of the race.

Neighborhood leaders were generally pleased with AEG's plans -- as far as they went. AEG's strategy primarily focuses on the race itself, while the groups want AEG to commit additional resources to help manage the tens of thousands attracted to the spectacle. Jarie Bolander, President of the North Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA), commented, "AEG still has some responsibility for the after-party." He added, with some frustration, "Someone has to step forward to manage the after-party. That can either be AEG or the city. We will protest B2B if the plan presented at ISCOTT does not include resources to manage the after-party." Bolander said the party time is the biggest issue before the stakeholder representatives and will be the topic of their next meeting.

Bolander said the group has primarily worked with Mike Farrah of the Mayor's Office as a contact for the meetings. He allowed that the November election and the possibility of getting a new mayor may slow planning for how to deal with next year's Bay to Breakers. The Neighborhood Task Force has yet to meet one of its own goals: to recruit a group leader to take its agenda to the city. For now, Bolander said leaders will meet more frequently in the months ahead and will increase their focus on neighborhood outreach and the after-party.

Participants at the meeting represented the following city offices, departments, and organizations:
  • Mayor's Office
  • SFPD Park Station, SFPD Northern Station
  • AEG
  • Citizens for Bay to Breakers
  • Alamo Square Neighborhood Association
  • Divisadero Merchants Association
  • Cole Valley Improvement Association
  • Haight Ashbury Improvement Association
  • Buena Vista Neighborhood Association
  • Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association
  • Lower Haight Merchants & Neighbors Association
** ISCOTT: the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation that discusses possible street closures for private or public events. For large events, like Bay to Breakers, the ISCOTT meeting serves as a public hearing.

For other articles in the B2B at 100 series, check here.

1 comment:

  1. My apologies for originally not including one of the neighborhood associations actively involved in the Task Force: the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association. Thanks for all your work!