2023 APEC summit: Everything to know about San Francisco road closures, security and more

ABC7 Bay Area Digital Staff Image
Saturday, November 18, 2023
APEC wraps up after week of protests, progress
The 2023 APEC Summit wrapped up Friday after a week of protests but also progress for U.S. relations with several Asian countries.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco is hosting host world leaders and hundreds of CEOs for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit -- or APEC.

The "Super Bowl of World Economies" is being held from Nov. 11-17.

Here's everything you need to know about road closures, security, who will be there and more.

RELATED: Day-by-Day timeline of APEC Summit in San Francisco

What is the APEC summit?

The 2023 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit -- also known as APEC -- will host 21 member economies from the Pacific Rim regions, including President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It was founded in Canberra in 1989 as an informal dialogue forum to promote regional economic integration.

APEC's members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

This year's conference is being held at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

You can learn more about APEC here.

VIDEO: Will SF be able to rehabilitate its image during APEC summit?

San Francisco faces one of the biggest challenges, to enhance the city's image and not give credence to what others are saying about ongoing issues.

How will APEC impact San Francisco?

Prepare for street closures, transit impacts, and in-person service changes from Nov. 11 through 17.

Expect extra security in and around the Moscone Center during APEC. In certain parts of the city, employees and patrons should plan ahead and build in extra time to get around.

"There will be an extraordinary amount of law enforcement, military, and public safety personnel in San Francisco for this event well above what anyone has seen before," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeremy Brown with the U.S. Secret Service.

Along the outer perimeter, SF police will be supported by about 1,000 CHP officers.

In the inner "higher security zone" at Moscone Center and Yerba Buena Gardens, the Secret Service will secure the area with a 14-foot unscalable fence.

This higher security zone will be limited to people with credentials.

Road closures, commute impact in San Francisco

SFMTA says the bulk of the travel and transit impacts will take place from Nov. 13-19.

ABC7 News traffic reporter Jobina Fortson has a breakdown of what to expect with road closures in San Francisco during APEC.

San Francisco

Bay Bridge

On Interstate Highway 80, eastbound lane no. 1 and westbound lane no. 5 will be closed for four days beginning Nov. 14 at 5 a.m. until Nov. 17 at 9 p.m.

Controlled access to the Bay Bridge Pedestrian and Bike Path will be implemented. Transit bus services will not be impacted, and Treasure Island on- and off-ramps as well as the Fremont Street off-ramp remain open.

Moscone Center

Legion of Honor

Nob Hill


U.S. Highway 101

On northbound U.S. Highway 101, the Dana Bowers Vista Point off-ramp just north of the Golden Gate Bridge will be closed from Nov. 14 through Nov. 18.

During the closure, there will be no access to Dana Bowers Vista Point for vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians.

Access to the Golden Gate Bridge sidewalks will remain open to pedestrians and bicyclists during regular hours throughout the event.

Interstate Highway 80

The California Highway Patrol tweeted Friday night that the 4th and 5th Street off-ramps from I-80 on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened at 6:50 p.m.

For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

Public Transit

Bay Area transportation officials are advising people that public transit might be the best option when heading to and from San Francisco next week during APEC.

People traveling in San Francisco should expect congestion downtown, traffic delays, transit reroutes, delays and crowding on Muni and SF Paratransit.

Bay Area transportation officials are advising people that public transit might be the best option when heading to and from San Francisco next week during APEC.

BART, Caltrain, San Francisco Bay Ferry and AC Transit all are running regular service during the conference. This comes as numerous roads will be closed on freeways and city streets during the conference. Some Muni train and bus lines will be rerouted.

The T and F trains will be rerouted, as well as 12 bus lines that run in and around Moscone Center.

SamTrans expects some routes leading to Downtown San Francisco to be re-routed, and Golden Gate Transit is closing one of its park-and-ride locations near the Golden Gate Bridge.

You can find more information about transit impacts on SFMTA's website here.

You can sign up for real-time email or text alerts about Muni service here.

Secret Service, SFPD detail new security measures

APEC will be the biggest gathering of world leaders in San Francisco in nearly eight decades. And that means a lot of security measures and the possibility for many last-minute changes.

The Secret Service says starting Monday night, fencing and concrete will go up on Nob Hill and then the next day, barriers will go up at Moscone Center after a full security sweep.

Expect the area around the Legion of Honor -- more than six miles away near the outer Richmond District -- to also see strict security.

Secret Service and police say there are some updates to the maps they first released in mid-October.

Secret Service and SFPD offer details on new security measures for APEC summit.

The green zone around Moscone Center is for local traffic. Pedestrians can go in without screening or ID. Rideshare services and food delivery though, are not allowed in the green zone by Moscone Center. Instead, drivers will stage one block away.

San Francisco police says its entire department has been mobilized for APEC. This is the first time in decades.

"Every able body officer will be working. We will be working 12-14 hours shifts. We will have coverage day time and night time. Our goal is to be prepared for a nothing and everything that will come our way," said Chief Bill Scott.

On Thursday, the city launched an emergency coordination center so local and federal authorities can prepared to respond to any situation.

"Things are rapidly changing that's why we're here today to operate this emergency operations center," said Mayor London Breed at press conference. "We are following recommendations, well they're not recommendations, they are requirements from the Secret Service to keep various world leaders and delegates safe in San Francisco."

Impact on San Francisco Chinatown Tourism

San Francisco's homelessness, drug addiction crisis, and shuttered business have made headlines around the world. But many communities are fighting back against any Doom Loop narrative.

Some neighborhoods like Chinatown are worried that the detours and the headlines may keep visitors away.

So local businesses have launched a series of events to "activate" their community.

With the APEC global trade summit just days away, San Francisco's Chinatown is gearing up for a list of community events starting this week.

Chinatown's community leaders met with SFMTA to discuss the numerous road closures and transit detours ahead of APEC.

Some in Chinatown expressed concerns the detours would limit tourism to the area, but SFMTA vowed this week to still make access to Chinatown as easy as possible.

San Francisco Chinatown's leaders are expecting a tourism boost for the upcoming APEC summit despite tight security.


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