Sunday Streets Grows in 2020 to 11 Events as San Francisco Eyes Permanent Car-Free Spaces

Sunday Streets Mission by Dashiell Merrick-Kamm


San Francisco – Nonprofit Livable City is thrilled to announce a new season of Sunday Streets, with a landmark 11 open street events across San Francisco from March to October 2020. The season kicks off with Sunday Streets Mission on March 8 and debuts two new routes as the program expands to provide more free recreation and community-building by transforming city streets into public, car-free spaces.

“As the leading sponsor of Sunday Streets, the SFMTA is proud to see the program grow in 2020 to bring more open, car-free space to neighborhoods across San Francisco,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin. “Besides encouraging walking, biking or using public transit, open streets let people connect with their community right outside their front doors.”

One of the country’s biggest open streets programs,  Sunday Streets serves 100,000 residents yearly. Each route is one to four miles in length, and turns car-congested streets into temporary parks for kids to play, seniors to stroll, organizations to connect and neighbors to meet.

Small businesses, residents, nonprofits and local groups bring activities, volunteers and performances to the car-free streets, with each contributing a distinctive character and energy to the day. The free events feature active play games, cultural performances, health resources, live music and more from 11am-4pm in diverse neighborhoods across the City, including the Mission, Excelsior, Tenderloin, Bayview, Outer Sunset, Western Addition and SoMa.

“Radical changes in how we move every day are on the table these days, like car-free Market Street,” said Livable City Associate Director Katy Birnbaum. “Sunday Streets’ goal has always been making car-free streets a weekly institution, and we’re ready to have deep conversations with stakeholders about what it will take to make that radical change equitable — and a reality in our lifetime.”

As Sunday Streets expands to make car-free space a San Francisco institution, Livable City is creating more opportunities to collaborate, celebrate, and support communities in reclaiming our city streets for health and human connection; including small business programs, bigger partnerships, and other block party programs.

Livable City launched its small business and local hire programs in 2016. Small business programs encourage attendees to patronize brick-and-mortars on the route with the fun, reusable Explore Local map and the Common Cents Passport, while a Market Square in select neighborhoods features local vendors and makers.  The local hire program employs San Francisco residents for outreach and event-day support, providing a pipeline to green jobs and education and employing San Francisco residents to work and strengthen their own communities.

Sunday Streets expansion includes onsite cultural festivals and community celebrations. Thai New Year in Little Saigon, Getting There Together: A Celebration of Seniors and Adults with Disabilities, the Undiscovered SF Creative Night Market Pop-Up and more bring festivity, neighborhood character and an onsite destination to the large footprint.

Additionally, Livable City administers Neighborfest and Play Streets, block party programs empowering residents to create car-free fun on a smaller scale citywide with a mission to unite neighbors, and promote health and community resilience.

Sunday Streets 2020 Season Schedule + Companion Events

March 8 – Mission 1

March 29 – Excelsior 1

April 19 – Tenderloin 1 + Thai New Year and Southeast Asian Food Festival in Little Saigon

Date and Route TBA – Bayview

June 7 – Sunset/Golden Gate Park

Date and Route TBA – Dogpatch/Mission Bay

July 19 – Mission 2

August 23 – SoMa + Undiscovered SF Creative Night Market Pop-Up

September 13 – Tenderloin 2 + Getting There Together: A Celebration of Seniors and Adults with Disabilities

September 27 – Western Addition

October 28 – Excelsior 2

The Sunday Streets 2020 season is made possible by the following sponsors:

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.

Livable City produces an annual season of Sunday Street events that reclaim car-congested streets for community health, transforming them into car-free spaces for all to enjoy.  

Sunday Streets’ mission is to:

  • Create temporary open space and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods most lacking
  • Encourage physical activity
  • Foster community-building
  • Inspire people to think differently about their streets as public spaces