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"Sunday Streets is all about celebrating the connections that make our communities and our city strong, and these connections are more important than ever as we move forward with our recovery from this pandemic," said Mayor Breed. "Although we need to take care to do things safely by staying outdoors, keeping things small, and staying masked, this is an exciting part of our reopening for all of our residents and families. Sunday Streets Rise Together programs will give friends and neighbors the chance socialize and come together safely after having been apart for so long."
One of the first projects of the Sunday Streets Rise Together season was assisting Chinatown Merchants Association (CMA) with the relaunch of Chinatown Walkway Weekends after the winter shutdown. Reopened just in time for the Lunar New Year in early February, this Shared Spaces site is scheduled to run every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am-5:00pm on Grant Avenue between California and Washington Streets through the end of June, at least. This Shared Spaces street closure has brought public life back to Chinatown and provides expanded outdoor dining space for restaurants on the corridor and much needed foot traffic to businesses, all while providing open space for community in one of the densest neighborhoods of San Francisco.
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"Collaborating with Livable City and the Shared Spaces program has made Chinatown Walkway Weekends possible," said Eva Lee, program organizer and CMA board member. "It has been one of the successes in bringing back Chinatown's economy."
Wellness and cultural programming, like free Tai Chi and self-defense classes, is being scheduled as public health orders allow. Chinatown Walkway Weekends are an anchor destination for anyone wanting a taste of Sunday Streets Rise Together fun any weekend through the summer.
"Even with Sunday Streets in hibernation due to the pandemic, Livable City never stopped helping San Franciscans reconnect with their streets, with their humanity," said SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin. "We couldn't be more inspired and excited to continue that work with them in 2021 while bringing back a beloved San Francisco institution like Sunday Streets."
Sunday Streets' Rise Together programs leverage the Shared Spaces permit to bring small businesses, arts, and community services together to offer community-building opportunities at a neighborhood-scale. Such activations are a key strategy to advancing economic recovery and ensure that as the City reopens, people return to the corridors that serve as the economic centers of San Francisco neighborhoods. Continuing to invest in and strengthen San Francisco neighborhoods is key to San Francisco's resilience and ability to re-emerge intact after disaster. Leading with equity, Livable City is prioritizing neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the economic impacts of the pandemic for its initial activations.
"To succeed at an equitable and resilient economic recovery, we need strong communities full of residents who are resourced and inspired to patronize their neighborhood small businesses and commercial districts," said Katy Birnbaum, Associate Director, Livable City. "That's why we developed the Rise Together season—to superpower neighborhood-based economic recovery projects with resources, such as health and wellness, arts, culture, and social service programming."
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Sunday Streets Rise Together programs will be announced throughout the year. The spring calendar officially starts in April with the launch of Bayside Saturdays, a program to celebrate the opening of the new Bayview Quick-Build walking/biking path on Hunters Point Boulevard that features newly installed murals from African American and Bayview-based artists. Presented in partnership with Bayview MAGIC, Bayside Saturdays helps visitors rediscover the India Basin / Hunters Point Shoreline with a self-guided map of the natural and artistic points of interest, with free fitness classes, giveaways and businesses specials offered along the way for visitors to choose their own adventure every Saturday in April between 10:00am-3:00pm.
Additional spring offerings are being crafted in partnership with the TLCBD, Excelsior Action Group, and Carnaval SF to include Sunday Streets-inspired fun in the Tenderloin, Mission, and Excelsior. Sign up for Livable City's newsletter or visit SundayStreetsSF.com to make sure you don't miss out on a Rise Together happening near you and keep up on Sunday Streets happenings as they are announced throughout 2021.
While broad participation is encouraged, members of the public, including people who have received a vaccine, should continue to practice harm reduction behaviors and follow health guidelines. Sunday Streets Rise Together has taken care to create programming that follows San Francisco health directives around scale, distancing, and operations and asks that participants protect the health and safety of others by wearing masks, practicing handwashing and good hygiene, and following social distancing and other safety protocols.
Sunday Streets is a program of the nonprofit Livable City, presented in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Department of Public Health Community Health Equity & Promotion Division, and the Shape Up SF Coalition. Additional City support comes from the Department of Public Works, Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco Police Department, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and her offices, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. For more information, visit SundayStreetsSF.com.
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