Yes, San Francisco's annual footrace/costume competition/drunken bacchanal is headed to a neighborhood near you this Sunday, May 17th. Here's what you should keep in mind to be prepared for what's to come, whether you're planning on participating or just want to know where to safely park your car.
If the following information sounds familiar, that's because not too much has changed from our preview of the race last year. That includes the fact that the southern half of Alamo Square, a notorious pitstop for revelers, will be fenced off, with installation beginning today:
The 12k race begins at Main & Howard at 8am, and runs westward through the city and Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach, leaving costumed stragglers in its wake. Here's a quick refresher of the race's course, which is unchanged from previous years:
And have those rules prohibiting race floats miraculously changed since last year? No, and neither has the alcohol policy. Per the organizers:
"Please note that no alcohol and no wheeled devices (including floats) will be allowed on the race course during the Zappos.com Bay to Breakers. Violators will be removed from the race course immediately and will not be issued a refund."
(If you're hoping to skirt the rules, SFist has once again created a liquor store map that clings to the contours of the race route.)
As always, if you have a car and are planning on moving about the city come Sunday, or would like to take a bus across the race route, take a moment to scrutinize the above map and the full list and timetable of street closures. As the SFMTA notes, "Once the race begins, travelers will only have two options to cross the north/south portion of the race course: The Embarcadero and Crossover Drive (which connects 19th Avenue, south of Golden Gate Park to Park Presidio Boulevard and 25th Avenue, north of Golden Gate Park). Muni will provide provide pre- and post-race Express service on several Muni rail lines and bus routes.
SFPD officers will be on hand throughout the day. Park Station notes that although the last of the runners is through the district by 11am, "the race is followed by an after party in the Panhandle and Conservatory Valley which draws thousands of non-registered participants."
Officers plan to facilitate pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow and provide crowd management along the race course and side streets. In addition, officers will be staged throughout the area "enforcing applicable laws, especially with regard to those laws involving alcohol, street vending, and quality of life." (To report a quality of life issue or lodge a general complaint, call the command post at (415) 242-3062.)
And finally, if you do plan to participate, please remember to respect your neighbors and local businesses, and that porta-potties should be amply available.
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