As many of you already know, Sunday Streets started in 2008 and was inspired by Ciclovia (‘Ciclovia’ means bike path in Spanish) in Bogota, Colombia. It’s an event that closes off streets to car traffic in different neighborhoods, opening them up to walkers, joggers, skaters, bicyclists, etc. Sunday Streets has grown from a couple of events a year to ten events held last year. The first Sunday Streets of this year, which was on March 10th, attracted 20,000 participants to the Embarcadero.
I owe much of my enthusiasm for biking in San Francisco to Sunday Streets. The first time I ever biked in SF was at the Sunday Streets held on the Embarcadero in 2010. Before that, I didn’t take biking so seriously. I never imagined I could use my bike for everyday living and that riding in the city could be so much fun.
Some of the Sunday Streets events are not as good for biking because they can get too crowded to maneuver with a bike, but the one held recently on the Embarcadero – a 3.3 miles (5.3 km) stretch along the waterfront without any cars was and has always been a heavenly experience for biking.
This year was extra special because the Exploratorium (SF’s much loved science museum and new tenant on the Embarcadero) held a lively pre-opening festival in conjunction with Sunday Streets and it appeared to be a big hit with the kids. Our city is known to have more dogs than children, but on this sunny Sunday you wouldn’t be able to tell. There were lots of kids with their parents out enjoying the open car-free space along the waterfront. Maybe with more of these types of events, more families will decide to stay living in the city.
There were many bands performing along the Embarcadero (I counted 8), but I think the Rock the Bike mobile stage performance was the best. How cool is that for them to bring their performance to the people, to engage them in a physical activity, and to send their music across the streets of the city to concert-goers and bystanders alike?
Watch a video of Rock the Bike at Sunday Streets:
There are always lots of interesting things and people to see at these events.
Now here is an idea we are proposing: How about having a night time version of Sunday Streets? Maybe we can have it on Friday or Saturday evenings and call it Friday/Saturday Streets? We could have all the neon glowing bikes come out and have neon glowing vendor stations. We could team up with Off the Grid and have them park their food trucks there and it would be like an Asian night market! Rock the Bike could have their concert in the dark with lighting effects. It would be like Bike Party but with a dedicated space for the event. How cool would that be? Please Sunday Streets organizers, think about it!