SF prepares for big street festival

August 25, 2008 7:04:10 PM PDT
San Francisco just wrapped up a huge weekend concert in Golden Gate Park. Now the preparations are underway for another huge party planned for this weekend. The timing is troublesome to many merchants along Fisherman's Wharf.

The party's over and the clean-up has begun.

150,000 fans gathered at Golden Gate Park this weekend for the Outside Lands concert. San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu says she's heard from several constituents about the complaints traffic and noise.

"Friday and Saturday night were a little bit noisy on the streets, but overall, it wasn't bad," says resident John Barkan.

Now, other neighborhoods are preparing for a different kind of party that could bring an influx of thousands. It's called 'Sunday Streets'.

Video of New York City's version earlier this month showed streets closed to traffic, allowing folks to dance, hula hoop, run, skate, bike, jump rope or just chill on the asphalt.

San Francisco will close more than four miles of roadway from the Bayview to Chinatown and along the Embarcadero. It begins this Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and again on September 14th.

"We're encouraging people to get out of their cars and come out and see a major roadway transformed into recreational space. That's really the goal," says project coordinator Susan King.

Though King is the project coordinator, this idea is Mayor Gavin Newsom's.

Critics are concerned about congestion, though many intersections will be open to cars. Merchants at Pier 39 will monitor sales to determine what they expect to be a significant loss of business on the all important holiday weekend.

"We're not opposed to the program. Let me make that clear, we're not opposed to it. We're opposed to it at this time of the year. It's our busiest time of the year," says Bob Macintosh, CEO of Pier 39.

And how much will this cost the city? Especially in terms of police overtime.

Susan King says she believes the price tag will run about $100,000 and believes they have enough private sponsorship to cover the event both this Sunday and on September 14th.

For more on this, check out the Back Story.


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