Thousands of people converged upon San Francisco’s waterfront last weekend to partake in another festive Sunday Streets public event. The partly sunny skies along the Embarcadero greeted scores of individuals and families out for a stroll or bike ride, joyfully interacting with their fellow humans, while safely enjoying miles of car-free roadways.
These free public gatherings have been happening for a few years, and they are increasing in popularity, attracting diverse crowds from all over the area. This is how the organizers describe why these street parties began, as well as the healthy social function that they serve:
“Sunday Streets are events that encourage recreation, community activities and fun in San Francisco. Sunday Streets closes stretches of city streets to automobile traffic, and opens them to people for several hours on a various Sundays throughout the year, so participants can enjoy a large, temporary, public space where they can bike, walk, run, dance, do yoga, or do any other physical activity. Non-profit and health organizations offer free activities and share information about their services during the event.”
On Sunday many musical groups entertained the crowds, and a number of organizations also offered free services, like bicycle tune-ups or high blood pressure health screenings. I also enjoyed a free sea kayaking adventure that was offered from the nice folks at City Kayak, located at Pier 40. I had never been in a kayak before, but I highly recommend it. Peacefully floating out in the middle of the bay gives one a very different perspective on life in the city.
Here are a few more images from the Sunday Streets event at the Embarcadero:
Ciclovias Inspire Car Free Sunday Streets
These temporary street closures are modeled after the hugely successful Ciclovias that take place every week throughout the city of Bogotá, Colombia. Those South American street parties draw nearly two million people on over 70 miles of car-free roads; that is 30% of the entire population of the country getting physical. Perhaps one day our nation’s populace will follow their example and become more active?