As Pedestrian Deaths Soar, the Tenderloin Fights Back With 1 Mile of Car-Free Streets

Sunday Streets Tenderloin by Young Chau

August 22, 2019


Mary Strope, Communications Manager

O (415) 344-0489


San Francisco – San Francisco’s open streets program, Sunday Streets, returns to the Tenderloin and Civic Center on September 8 from 11am-4pm, transforming a neighborhood suffering from the city’s highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities into a safe, open space for all. Twenty-three people have already been killed in traffic this year – as many as in all of 2018. Many of these deaths have occurred in the Tenderloin, including a 79-year-old woman recently killed at Fifth and Market Streets.

“Twice a year, Sunday Streets brings safe open space to the Tenderloin so that kids can ride bikes, neighbors can meet, and people of all abilities can take over the streets,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “The neighborhood is identified by Vision Zero as the most dangerous in the city for pedestrians, so it’s important to reimagine our streets as spaces for community – and get a chance to see them in a whole new way.”

Seniors make up 15 percent of San Francisco’s population, but comprise 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities. Though the Tenderloin has some of the lowest rates of car ownership in the city, it’s full of high-injury corridors, where seniors and people with disabilities are especially at risk of being severely injured by cars.

That’s why the inaugural Getting There Together: A Celebration of All Ages and Abilities is so important. In conjunction with Sunday Streets Tenderloin, Livable City is teaming up with the Coalition of Agencies Serving the Elderly to transform Civic Center into a car-free party and resource fair for seniors and people with disabilities. The event with feature an Interactive Resource Fair, an All Abilities Open Air Gymnasium with fitness classes, and a Main Stage with performances.

The Main Stage will be a literal platform for local seniors and people with disabilities to share their musical talents. Kotobuki Taiko will kick off the day with their energetic, high-powered drumming. Marc Brew, the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the amazing AXIS Dance Company, will give a solo performance at 12 noon. At 1:00 pm, over 300 members from Community Music Center’s Older Adult Choirs from all over San Francisco will come together to perform a range of music, singing in Spanish, Tagalog, and English, highlighting the rich traditions of their respective neighborhoods.

In addition to the fantastic family-friendly activities at Getting There Together, the mile-long Sunday Streets route will feature even more live musical performances, a Play Streets pop-up, and a climbing wall for kids. As a primary sponsor of all Sunday Streets events, the SFMTA will be on hand on to answer questions about safety improvements in the area, giving residents and visitors direct access to transit planners and ambassadors dedicated to sustainable streets. And don’t forget to pick up the Explore Local Guide for a fun map of the Tenderloin to use all year long.

Inspired by the Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia, Sunday Streets is a series of free, fun open street events empowering local communities to transform one to four miles of car-congested streets into car-free community spaces for kids to play, seniors to stroll, organizations to connect, and neighbors to meet. Over a mile of cultural performances, health resources, live music, and open space provides free opportunities for all at ten yearly events.

Nonprofit Livable City runs both Sunday Streets and Play Streets, a program empowering neighbors to transform their block into an accessible, car-free open space on a regular basis. Both programs are sponsored by the SFMTA and other City agencies, and Sunday Streets would not be possible without crucial services like Muni bus re-routing or traffic control officers for public safety.

Project experts from SFMTA and Vision Zero will be on hand throughout the season, providing neighborhood residents and visitors direct access to transit planners and ambassadors dedicated to sustainable streets.

Small businesses, residents, nonprofits, and local groups bring activities, volunteers, and performances to the car-free routes, with each contributing a distinctive character and energy to the day. Livable City’s local hire program employs San Francisco residents for outreach and event-day support.

Transforming miles of car-dominated city streets into open space is possible through the collaboration and hard work of hundreds of volunteers, neighbors, nonprofits, and small businesses. Donate, exhibit, volunteer, or sponsor Sunday Streets in 2019 to be part of a sustainable, greener, and more accessible future. For more information, visit

Sunday Streets 2019 Season Schedule

March 10 – Mission 1

March 31 – Excelsior 1

April 14 – Tenderloin 1

May 5 – Bayview/Dogpatch

June 9 – Sunset/GGP

July 14 – Mission 2

August 18 – SoMa

September 8 – Tenderloin 2

September 22 – Western Addition

October 20 – Excelsior 2

The Sunday Streets 2019 season is made possible by the following season sponsors: Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF), Mission Housing Development Corporation, San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFPUC), Genentech, Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), Sutter/CPMC, Baywheels, iHeartMedia, Skip, Sutter/CPMC, iHeart Media, Jump Bikes, SPIN, and Xfinity/Comcast and Supporting Sponsors Wu Yee Children’s Services, Dolby, Asian Art Museum, and SF Public Library.

About Sunday Streets

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 and the Shape Up SF Coalition. Additional City support comes from the Department of Public Works, Recreation & Parks Department, SF Police Department, SF County Transportation Authority, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and her offices and the SF Board of Supervisors.

About Livable City

Livable City is dedicated to increasing affordable housing, improving transportation, land use, open space, and environmental policies, and supporting grassroots initiatives to make San Francisco a safer, healthier, and more accessible city. For more information on Livable City, visit: For more information about Sunday Streets, including the Sunday Streets event activity guide, visit: For information on Muni routes and vehicle access, call 511 or go to