About Sunday Streets Berkeley
Skip the traffic and walk, bike, or take public transit to Sunday Streets Berkeley!
What is Sunday Streets?
Sunday Streets (also called “Open Streets”) closes streets to automobile traffic for a day so that people may use the space for other physical and social activities. The streets become parks as people replace car traffic. People walk, bike, skate and dance and play. Everyone from businesses and community organizations to musicians and artists use the space creatively, engaging the public and providing spontaneity and discovery. It sounds simple, yet it really is very different and exciting.
People get out and connect with their community and urban environment in a transformative way. This temporary public space inspires creativity and change for the better, on that day – and beyond. As of early 2013, there are more than 70 Sunday Streets events in North America. Check out StreetFilms.org for more about Open Streets around the world.
The first Sunday Streets in Berkeley was on October 14, 2012. More than 42,000 people cameto Shattuck Ave to stroll, skate, cycle, dance, play in the street. People came from all over the Bay Area to experience Berkeley anew. Local Berkeley businesses reported a 30-50% increase in sales on the day of the event. The first-ever Sunday Streets Berkeley was by all measures a great success.
Sunday Streets Berkeley has very much been inspired by Sunday Streets San Francisco’s successful 5 year run. We are so thankful for their leadership, encouragement and sharing of resources and wisdom in producing Sunday Streets Berkeley.
Remember: BART runs every 20 minutes on Sundays and there is no direct service to San Francisco. For travel to Berkeley transfer at 19th Street Oakland, for travel back to SF, transfer at MacArthur.
By AC Transit:
AC Transit lines F, 6, 7, 12, 18, 25, 51B, 52, 65, 67, 79, and 88 all serve the Downtown Berkeley Area. Many of these lines will be on detour for Sunday Streets Berkeley, but they will still bring you close to the action! Use 511.org or ACTransit.org to plan your ride, and be sure to check for updates from AC Transit to find out about detours the day of Sunday Streets Berkeley.
Sunday Streets Berkeley FAQ
FAQ for Activity Leaders / Performers
Who may participate as an Activity Leader?
Any individual, non-profit organization or locally based single shop business may provide an interactive activity for Sunday Streets Berkeley. Larger businesses (e.g. businesses with multiple locations, franchises, or chains) are welcome too – check out our sponsor page for options to participate.
Are there costs involved?
We ask that all Activity Leaders be completely self-sufficient in running their activity, which means bringing all needed equipment, staffing and supplies required for your event. Participation is free to all local non-profits, community organizations, and independently owned, locally based, single shop businesses. Larger businesses can participate and be an important support for this non-profit, community event through sponsorship.
All of the Activity Leaders are volunteers and are not paid for their time or services provided during Sunday Streets Berkeley. We encourage people attending Sunday Streets Berkeley to support Activity Leaders’ businesses, and permit banners and distribution of information or coupons for these local businesses or organizations.
What kinds of Activities are encouraged?
We emphasize activities that encourage physical activity, stimulate interest in healthy, safety and the environment, and are interactive and fun.
Are musicians and bands welcome?
We encourage musicians and bands to play along the route. Let us know what you are planning to do, and we may be able to promote you in marketing materials. Amplified sound is permitted with permission and permits via Sunday Streets Berkeley.
Is there a budget for performers?
Decisions about payment for performers are made on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the performance, overall availability of funds, and other considerations. Please contact Sunday Streets Berkeley directly for inquiries.
What activities are prohibited?
• Activities that are conducted for primarily for marketing purposes that do not enhance the event (this is to keep the event commercial free and focused on fitness and fun).
• Vending of any kind
• Charging for services rendered at Sunday Streets
• “Selling through” activity space provided to paying sponsors for your activity without approval by Sunday Streets organizers
• Equipment that requires additional permits (eg generators, sound systems, stage) without approval from event organizers
• Food or beverage sampling without approval from event organizers
• No booths, tables or other structures may be set up in the roadway or blocking the sidewalk unless approved and/or as part of a sponsorship package.
Sunday Streets organizers can address any questions about proposed activities and will work with Activity Leaders to develop programs that are appropriate, safe and fun.
May political campaigns participate?
Activities on behalf of political candidates and initiatives are encouraged at Sunday Streets, however, the Sunday Streets may not provide any materials or support on behalf of any campaign, initiative or candidate. Political activities may take place at any publicly accessible location as long as they are not blocking participant access or set up in a location that has been assigned to an official Sunday Streets activity. No structures may be set up in the roadway or on the sidewalks.
How are Activities marketed?
On our website, through social media, flyers, calendar and press outreach for the event as a whole. Additional guides are handed out the day of the event. We encourage Activity Leaders to proactively promote your individual event through your networks, such as:
• Making a flier or poster with your activity details and posting it in places where you work or visit; for instance, Yoga instructors should post info at Yoga studios and local gyms.
• Social networking sites, such as Facebook, My Space, Twitter;
• Listing on online calendars and posting on blogs targeted towards those who are interested in your activity, such as Yoga and Fitness sites and blogs, websites for parents, etc.
Performers – or “Activity Leaders” as they’re known at Sunday Streets Berkeley – are volunteers and are usually not paid for their time or services provided during Sunday Streets Berkeley. We encourage Sunday Streets Berkeley attendees to support Activity Leader’s projects.
Will there be stages?
The only stages typically allowed are those located at the very ends of the route, which have been officially permitted as part of the event. No other structures of that kind will be provided or allowed, except as part of sponsorship packages.
Will there be any backline (PA, instruments)?
Participants – performers, tablers, and activity leaders bring all equipment themselves. We highly recommend you bringextension cords if you partner with a merchant for power.
Will electricity be available?
All activities must be fully self-sufficient, including access to power to run equipment. Sunday Streets Berkeley does not have access to generators or other equipment. For larger bands, we might be able to help connect you with a power source via a restaurant or store along the route.
FAQ for Merchants
Sunday Streets: a very different type of street festival
Open Streets events are unlike any kind of conventional street festival you’ve seen before. Activities and tables will generally be in the parking lane, leaving the roadways clear for pedestrians, bikers, skaters, etc. There won’t be sound stages, outside food or craft vendors. This is because Sunday Streets is intended to be fairly mobile and nimble. The idea of Open Streets is to create a car-free public space so that musicians, artists, and group activity leaders are inspired to use the space, the sheer volume of foot traffic and curious, exploratory frame of mind people are in to interact with the community in creative, active ways.
What can I do during Sunday Streets to attract customers?
We want local businesses to benefit from these events, so we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to attract more customers by:
Offering special promotions
A-frame signs in the street promoting special menus, dishes
Creating a special food item that is easy to grab-and-go (People like to be where the action is in the streets and are inclined to buy what they perceive as quick and portable)
Making the front of your business attractive and welcoming with signs, banners, or other decorations. The City does not allow any structures to be placed on the sidewalk in front of your business unless you have a temporary occupancy permit to do so.
Cafe-style seating, tables and chairs in the parking spots in front of your shops and restaurants do not require permits and are highly encouraged!
We encourage merchants to sell out of their storefronts. Vending on the street of any kind is not allowed.
What about trash?
We work with the Downtown Berkeley Association & the North Shattuck Association to put out extra trash and recycling bins and they are removed after the event. Since this is not a street fair with vendors selling products we have not seen any littering problems.
Will there be extra police or security?
There will be a number of Police Officers and enforcement personnel responsible for traffic control throughout the route. Sunday Streets is a low key family oriented event. San Francisco has been holding Sunday Streets for 5 years and thus far, there has not been a single incident requiring SFPD intervention.
Is Sunday Streets Berkeley a street fair or street festival?
No, not in the traditionally used sense of these phrases. The focus of the event is physical activity and community engagement in the streets. The beauty of this is that participating in and enjoying the event is not defined by spending money and consumption . . . yet businesses on and near the route tend to do very well on the day and beyond. Outside vendors are not permitted, so Open Streets events very much celebrate existing local businesses.
What are the hours?
The roadways of the route will be car free from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will work very closely with the Berkeley Police Department to make sure that the event begins and ends on time. Vehicle traffic returns immediately after the roads are clear of event participants.
Will there be tow-a-way zones?
Yes. Routes will be signed as no parking zones. Signage will go up a minimum of one week before the event and the no parking hours will be from early that morning until after the event concludes.
Will all cross streets be closed to cars?
No. We will allow cross traffic at some intersections and others will be closed. Sunday Streets volunteers work with Berkeley Police and Dept. of Parking and Traffic personnel to provide local access to residents and businesses adjacent to the route, otherwise there will be no vehicular access between 10am and 4pm on the route itself.
If you would like to contribute your photos to be used in future promotions, on our website, and/or in media coverage, please send them to: SundayStreetsBerkeley@gmail.com
Please indicate whether you require photo credit or not. (Please note, your image may enjoy broader distribution, such as through slide shows or sharing on social media, if credit is not required. If you do require credit, the use of your photos may be limited print and online publications that can guarantee inclusion of your credit.)