Bay To Breakers organizers talk at City Hall

July 13, 2010 12:39:02 AM PDT
There was more dialogue on Monday night about San Francisco's Bay To Breakers race. Promoters had already announced new restrictions on the event that has featured nudity and alcohol for years. Now, they want to make assurances to people along the route who are fed up with the mess and the rowdiness.

There is a lot to like about the streets of Divisadero and Page in San Francisco. It's a real nice place 364 days a year, but on the 365th, the neighborhood has to be washed down.

Storm manages a very hip store and on Bay To Breakers day, he and his boss, Yabette Alfaro, come to work hoping not to generate business, but to save it.

"I will say I don't think the race actually brings us business," says Alfaro. When asked what it did bring, she says was, "Lots of drunk people."

It also brings all of the accoutrements, as listed on a sign in a sidewalk garden that reads, "Please protect this garden. urine, feces, vomit, and trash kills plants."

On Bay To Breakers day, even the bartenders worry. And for clarification, these businesses are two blocks away from the race. The complaints are just about the overflow crowd.

"I think someone needs to take responsibility for it," says Alfaro.

Hence, the meeting in San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday afternoon between merchants and race organizers, who intend to clean up the 100-year-old race by adding police, limiting alcohol, and closing off the route to all, except those who actually enter. They want to make this race respectable.

"Centipedes are definitely going to be running this year," says race general manager Angela Fang. When asked if naked people could run she said yes, but when asked if naked drunk people could run she says, "I don't know about that."

That was not good news for Ed Sharpless came to the meeting tonight representing 25,000 of the teeming masses.

"We're arguing for the right to have responsible fun," says Sharpless.

And everyone seems in agreement, about that, but a giant leap for a race, may be several steps back for those who associate with drunken centipedes.


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