San Francisco’s Foggy Sunday Streets 2009
Despite a blanket of fog, the last San Francisco Sunday Streets of 2009 was, from all accounts, a smashing success, one of the most popular so far, with thousands of people enjoying four activity-filled hours of pristine car-free space through Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway. Kids, families, bicyclists, skaters, dancers, and even the MTA Chief Nat Ford came out to enjoy the carfree zone.
Andy Thornley: [0:08] We are out here on the final Sunday Streets of 2009, the sixth Sunday Streets, the second one that we're having out in Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway. [music]
Andy Thornley: [0:25] It's a little bit foggy but the sun is going to burn off. It's still early. [music]
Andy Thornley: [0:37] We've got the whole length of Golden Gate Park closed to cars. We've chased the cars off of JFK Drive, the whole length, Ocean Beach, and the Great Highway from the corner of Golden Gate Park out to the Zoo. It is a wonderful day on the west side of San Francisco.
Susan King: [0:52] The focus is to have things that require people to be physically active.
Speaker: [0:57] Well, we're using the manpower to car. [laughter] Spread the news around. Anyone who wants to hop on, they can.
Susan King: [1:06] The Fun Cycle is also known as a conference bike. We've renamed it because Fun Cycle is more fun than conferences. It's a bicycle built for seven and you have to have all seven people pedaling.
Speaker: [1:18] I love Sunday Streets because I get to go out here and lose five pounds. [laughter]
Speaker: [1:24] I saw this last Sunday Streets. I had to get a ride on it again. I love being able to stand in the middle of the Great Highway.
Speaker: [1:31] Yes to manpower. No to gas.
Speaker: [1:31] Yes to manpower. No to gas.
Susan King: [1:33] This is the main Sunday Streets activity area. We have up here Boomer size, dancing to the oldies. [music]
Susan King: [1:44] To the right we have the human tire-pull to live Bluegrass music. [music]
Child: [2:05] I'm riding my bike with no training wheels.
Susan King: [2:10] Freedom from Training Wheels is a project run by the San Francisco YMCA Bike Program and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
Speaker: [2:18] We're out learning how to ride a bike with no training wheels right now. And Ryan just did it for the first time ever. [music]
Speaker: [2:28] You got it. You got it. Keep going.
Speaker: [2:31] Did you feel wobbly?
Ryan: [2:33] Mm-hmm.
Speaker: [2:33] Yeah. And did you feel like you were able to steer?
Ryan: [2:37] Mm, sort of.
Speaker: [2:39] Yeah. And then did I ever let go?
Ryan: [2:42] Mm, sometimes.
Speaker: [2:43] Could you tell?
Ryan: [2:44] Yes.
Speaker: [2:45] Yeah?
Ryan: [2:45] Because I could... I always felt your hand. [music]
Susan King: [2:52] This is a really family-oriented event and it's really important that we have people out there with their kids. That's something that we didn't really have to beat people over the head with. People really got it. "Oh, this is where I bring my kids." This isn't critical mass. This is not a bike ride. This isn't a street fair. This is a family activity, and we really want to make sure that we've accommodated all ages. [music]
Susan King: [3:23] We have a mobile skating rink that comes with us at every Sunday Streets and people can come out and roller skate.
Lainie Monsef: [3:29] We like to think of the streets as recreational asphalt, when there is no motorized vehicle traffic getting in your way. Whether you skate or bike or walk or run or dance or skip or whatever you like to do, you can come out and be assured that you do not need to worry about cars in your way.
Cindy Brinkman: [3:50] We have been encouraging people to let the mayor and their supervisors know how happy they are with Sunday Streets and how much they'd like to have Sunday Streets come back. I guess the message was heard loud and clear because on Friday the mayor's office announced that, yes, Sunday Streets will not only come back next year but they'd really like to make it a permanent part of the fabric of life in San Francisco.
Nathaniel Ford: [4:08] What we wanted to do is over the past few years that we've done Sunday Streets, we've kind of tested it out in different parts of the city. What we're doing now is really formalizing it as a final part of our San Francisco life. Sunday Streets will be happening year after year. [music background]
Andy Thornley: [4:25] I think what we want to see is the institutionalization. Having these Sunday Streets not be one off special events, but if it always happened once a month on the Great Highway, if it happened every Sunday on the Embarcadero, not only would it be more wonderful, it would be cheaper and easier to operate.
Nathaniel Ford: [4:44] Sunday Streets is here forever, and it's great to see all of the San Francisco friends and families and visitors participating. [music]