ANNOUNCED: Sunday Streets Phoenix Day, October 17, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katy Birnbaum
Sunday Streets Phoenix Day on October 17, 2021
Celebrating community, health and resilience in the streets of San Francisco
San Francisco – Sunday Streets SF will relaunch October 17th, 2021 from 12pm – 5pm with the first ever Phoenix Day, bringing every district of San Francisco together on the same day in celebration of community, health, resilience and car-free fun in the streets. A program of the nonprofit Livable City presented in partnership with SFMTA and the City and County of San Francisco, Sunday Streets SF Phoenix Day will mark the return of this beloved institution with a bigger than ever program taking place across the City featuring historic Sunday Streets SF routes and pop-ups, community bike rides, and 100+ neighbor-run block parties. The final locations for the Sunday Streets SF routes will be announced in August, but neighbors can start preparing to host a block party on Phoenix Day with information available at SundayStreetSF.com.
“Sunday Streets SF celebrates the connections that make our communities and our city strong,” said Mayor Breed. “The pandemic tested our resilience and well-being, and reminded us just how important outdoor gathering spaces are for the growth and health of our neighborhoods. Sunday Streets provide us the opportunity to celebrate our city, together.”
Inspired by the Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia, the Sunday Streets SF program started in 2008 as a one day pilot and has since grown into a San Francisco institution that hosts an annual season of free, fun events to empower 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 and businesses to connect and neighbors to meet. After 18+ months of hibernation due to the pandemic, Sunday Streets Phoenix Day will once again bring free recreational activities, resources, and fun to the streets for tens of thousands of San Franciscan to enjoy.
“It’s a critical moment for San Francisco,” says SFMTA Director, Jeffrey Tumlin, “Our struggles and divisions intensified during the pandemic and it’s more important than ever to transform our streets into places that foster human connection and civic pride. Sunday Streets Phoenix Day will be a monumental opportunity to do that together as a City.”
Livable City believes collaborating on open street events is one of the most powerful ways to engage diverse communities, foster health, joy and connection in our neighborhoods, and make our City more resilient. Guided by this belief and the enormous need for outdoor space during the pandemic, Livable City has been focused on supporting community-led Shared Spaces and Play Streets closures in Tenderloin, Chinatown, SoMa, Bayview, Excelsior, and the Mission since the summer of 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic grounded the large-format Sunday Streets SF events.
“Opportunities for exercise and fresh air are essential,” says Tracey Packer, Director of the Community Health Equity and Promotion Branch (CHEP) at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, “and we’re grateful that Livable City pivoted the Sunday Streets program to provide safe and fun opportunities for our most impacted communities as we continue to reopen our economy and welcome our residents back to their routines.”
At the start of 2021, it was clear to Livable City that Sunday Streets SF in its large format wasn’t possible until the end of the year, but that these smaller, community-driven open streets were critical to the emotional, physical and economic health of our neighborhoods during the pandemic. In response, Livable City developed the Sunday Streets Rise Together season with partner open streets operators to offer health order compliant wellness, arts, music, and cultural programming in the City’s most impacted neighborhoods. Now with an incredible vaccination rate and most pandemic restrictions lifted, San Francisco can finally start getting ready for a big celebration on Sunday Streets Phoenix Day. As long-time partners of the Sunday Streets program and to help keep San Francisco’s vaccination momentum going, SFDPH is working with Livable City to host vaccination booths in priority neighborhoods at Rise Together events and Sunday Streets Phoenix Day.
“We’re all recovering from the pandemic and need spaces to heal and come together. To ensure every community in our city has a chance to do that, we’re embracing a new format for Sunday Streets Phoenix Day,” says Katy Birnbaum, Livable City’s Associate Director and Sunday Streets SF’s steward for the past 7 years. Birnbaum continues, “we’ll still create miles of car-free space in the streets together. We’ll still get people moving and having fun walking and biking around their neighborhood. But we’re also trying some new things – like a cross city bike ride and neighbor-hosted block parties – so everyone can take part on Phoenix Day at their own pace.”
On the eve of relaunching the Sunday Streets SF program, Livable City is grateful for the whole Sunday Streets SF family – from the City and County of San Francisco and all of the agencies that provide in-kind and monetary support, to the hundreds of dedicated volunteers, to the brilliant and diverse community partners, to the dozens of exhibitors and sponsors – who has made the program an institution over the past 13 years and is fueling an epic revival with Phoenix Day.
“The pandemic has driven home the essential nature of open space and healthy outdoor recreation,” says Phil Ginsburg, General Manager and SF Rec and Parks Department. “Sunday Streets celebrates togetherness and the beauty of outdoor spaces and we can’t wait to bring it back this year with Livable City.”
Livable City’s “keep it local” philosophy has been another critical element to the Sunday Streets SF program and will be more important to small businesses and community members this year than ever before. A progressive fundraising model keeps the Sunday Streets SF program accessible, with City grants and major sponsors providing the support needed to offset costs for free programming and smaller organizations and community groups to participate. From hiring local event ambassadors, to showcasing local organizations and businesses, to purchasing from local vendors, Sunday Streets SF supports, collaborates with, and uplifts the people who make the program what it is today.
“Sunday Streets SF has long been a catalyst for neighborhood vibrancy. When streets are transformed into open and safe spaces for people to play, bike, and walk, we foster a sense of community for our families and local businesses,” said Kate Sofis, the Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Phoenix Day is an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the city’s opening and recovery while activating our streets and our neighborhoods.”
Sunday Streets SF Rise Together season and Phoenix Day is made possible by the following sponsors: San Francisco Department of Public Health CHEP Division, Spare the Air / Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), iHeart Radio San Francisco.
Sunday Streets SF invites all San Franciscans to be part of Phoenix Day by attending an event or bike ride, hosting a block party, exhibiting, volunteering and/or a monetary donation and sponsorships. To find out how and get more information on Phoenix Day, visit SundayStreetsSF.com.
About Sunday Streets SF
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 CHEP Division 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 San Francisco Board of Supervisors. For more information about Sunday Streets SF or local access needs, visit: www.SundayStreetsSF.com. For information on Muni reroutes and parking changes, call 311 or go to www.sfgov.org/311.
About Livable City
Livable City works to create a San Francisco of great streets and complete neighborhoods, where walking, bicycling, and transit are the best choices for most trips, where public spaces are beautiful, well-designed, and well-maintained, and where housing is plentiful and affordable. For more information on Livable City, visit: https://www.livablecity.org.