SF to create car-free party zone

July 12, 2008 7:30:12 PM PDT
On the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, all the northbound lanes along the Embarcadero will be closed to traffic, and then again on September 14th. The idea is to get San Franciscans out and about and on their feet.

The city is calling this "Sunday Streets". The closures are a six mile stretch, starting at the Opera House in Bayview, running through the Embarcadero and ending in Chinatown.

Lanes will be closed from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. but some cross traffic will be allowed.

The city is planning all sorts of physical activities on these streets from hula hoops to yoga classes. They think the plan will help in several ways to get people to exercise, get out of their cars and check out neighborhoods they otherwise wouldn't, like Bayview and Chinatown.

Just off the route is Fisherman's Wharf and some business owners are not happy with the plan.

"Right now, business is really slow as far as the tourist season. Doing something like that is obviously not going help our business," says Embarcadero merchant Alan Said.

From our perspective, there is plenty of auto access to Fisherman's Wharf. So, again, we're working to address concerns. We believe this will actually draw more people to the waterfront and will have a positive impact on businesses," says event organizer Wade Crowfoot.

Because there are some concerns from businesses, the city ditched plans to put Sunday Streets on a third day this summer. It may take a while to catch on, but the organizer says this activity is going to be a lot different from the street fairs we see. There won't be booths around with greasy street fair foods, but just fruits and veggies and an invitation to local businesses. They are hoping to pay through it through private donations.


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