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Friday, October 4, 2013

S.F. to Party Nonstop This Weekend, Here's How to Survive The Traffic

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

click to enlarge Making memories in San Francisco this weekend - FLICKR/(NZ)DAVE
  • Flickr/(nz)Dave
  • Making memories in San Francisco this weekend

Starting today, it's going to be a weekend of uninterrupted fun for San Francisco with all kinds entertainment happening in every pocket of the city. But with fun times, comes a hell of a lot of not-so-fun traffic.

The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival alone is expected to lure 40,000 people to Golden Gate Park daily. And let's not forget the sporting events, the Castro Street Fair, and parades. In other words, there's really no place to escape the madness.

Lucky for you loyal readers, we've put together a short list of alternative routes that should make your weekend as painless as possible.

You don't want to be the sad sucker waiting forever for the 5 Fulton bus after a long day boozing and grooving out in the sun at Golden Gate Park just to see the bus drive by without stopping, packed full of people who aren't you.


The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival begins this morning and continues through the weekend until Sunday. The concert is held in Golden Gate Park at the Speedway, Marx and Lindley Meadows from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day with the gates opening at 10 a.m. Park roads nearest the concert will be closed. Of course, concert goers should allow for plenty of travel time and are encouraged to use public transit, ride a bike, or walk. Having the fare already on your clipper card will make life much easier. Really, it will.

To get people to-and-from the concert this weekend, Muni will have in service the 5L Fulton Limited bus line that will make limited stops between at McAllister and Jones streets and Fulton Street and 25th Avenue. Once the concert wraps for the day, the 5L Fulton will have one-way service heading back downtown making limited stops along the way. If you want to catch the bus after the show, and not get passed by, make your way to either 25th or 30th avenues. You might also be able to catch it near major cross streets. Often the bus driver will not let people off at designated stops, preferring to stop a block or so before or after the stop to prevent more people from getting on. If you're a savvy transit rider, you might be able to jump on when people are exiting.

Another option is to take the N Judah. The limited bus service ends at 8 p.m.

The Friday night A's playoff game is right around peak commute time so be wary. Traffic and BART will be craaaaaaaazzzzzy. All BART trains will be running (thanks to the governor and that cooling-off period). We suggest you leave early from work and get to the game before the rest of the Bay Area does. Plus, that'll mean more time to eat hot dogs and drink beer.


Saturday will be a little more chill, we think. Besides the bluegrass festival (see traffic advisories above), the only other exciting event is my pizza birthday party. And most of my friends have canceled. So hit me up on twitter if anyone wants to chow down on slices. Presents are mandatory.

While the frustration builds due to the government shut down, you will really feel it Saturday if you have family in town who've been bugging you to take them to the Marin Headlands. Muni's 76X Marin Headlands bus will be rerouted until the Federal Government reopens. Bummer.


Sunday will be off the hook. Those of you who aren't hungover can start the day off right with a long run. The 7k and 12k Bridge to Bridge Run begins at 9 a.m. by the Ferry Building. As a result, streets around the Embarcadero, Fisherman's Wharf and Marina Boulevard will be periodically closed between 8:15 a.m.. and 10:30 a.m. Expect delays. Traffic will be rerouted and Muni lines in the area will also be affect.

The Castro Street Fair is next on the Sunday party agenda. It starts at 11 a.m. and carries on until 6 p.m. All major streets in the vicinity, including Castro Street between 16th and 19th streets and Market Street between Noe and Eureka streets, will be closed between 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. So don't drive around there. Also, Market Street traffic will be detoured and Muni lines will also be screwy.

And then in Chinatown around 2:30 p.m., there's the annual Ten Ten Celebration parade and flag rising ceremony. Muni buses will be allowed though the parade and police will be directing traffic so it shouldn't be awful for the rest of you trying to pass through. The parade is brief, ending around 3:30 p.m.

On Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. the San Francisco 49ers will play the Houston Texans at Candlestick Park. Two-hour delays are expected on all freeways and highways leading into the city before and after the game. However, Muni offers four express routes and two shuttles heading out to Candlestick on game days from location around the city. For more info check Muni times. Football fans beware: Only approved NFL bags will be allowed into the stadium.

It will be a late night kickoff for the Raiders game at the Coliseum beginning at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night. BART will have more trains running to meet the surge in ridership that night. The last departing trains, depending on your direction, will be between 12:20 a.m. and 1 a.m.

Good luck and definitely have fun.

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Brian Rinker


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