Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Streets comes to the Mission

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We got our very own version of this occasional street closure program today. From Dolores Park to Valencia by way of 19th Street, then east across 24th Street to York, turning south to Rolph Park, with a leg going south on Harrison to 26th streets became car free territory today from 10 am to 2 pm.

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The event got off to a slow start. This is Valencia at 10 am. I could have told organizers it would look like this. Many Sundays I run along here in the bike lane at 8 am seeing almost no traffic -- that's why I'm there. (This is the only time of the week I'd do that.) And I often walk along here to church just a little later. This part of the Mission doesn't stir much before noon.

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By 12:30, the bikes were out on Valencia ...

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... also the dog walkers.

I didn't much like the feel on Valencia -- the wide street attracted fleets of bikes, enough of whose riders thought they could get up a head of steam to make walking feel a little dangerous.

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But I had to be glad for the kids. I learned to ride a bike in the street in a slower place. Without this kind of special event, I doubt these ever get to get out in the road.

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Groups walking on 24th Street felt more like the Mission I live in (because that is the area I live in.) I wouldn't be surprised if this family just came out of church, would you?

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Perhaps because the street is narrow, folks on bikes slowed down on 24th Street. Walking felt comfortable, though you might risk being run into by barely upright roller skaters.

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This guy demonstrated "roller soccer."

All too quickly, the street closure was over. I certainly enjoyed it, but I think the timing is all wrong. If it is to be limited to a 4 hour block, it should start at noon and run to 4 pm. Both the church goers and the hip party-goers would thank the organizers.

1 comment:

sfmike said...

Agreed on all points. It was fairly terrifying being a pedestrian on the Embarcadero streets when this was happening because there were so many bicyclists building up a head of steam, as you put it. And the four-hour schedule in the morning is absurd. How much is this all costing, for what is basically a Gavin Newsom eco press release?

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