If you're planning to dance in the streets today to celebrate the Giants' stunning World Series victory, you better leave your keys at home, for at least two reasons.
First, if you don't, where exactly are you going to dance? And second you'll be sitting in traffic forever. If Monday night was any indication of how Giants' fans celebrate downtown, it's better for everyone if cars and horns are not involved.
Let me stop here and tell you that NBC Bay Area will be airing the parade live, so you could stay at home and watch it from the comfort of your living room.
Mass transit is going to be your key into San Francisco Wednesday morning. The route starts at Washington and Montgomery Streets, which is at the base of the iconic Transamerica Building. Then it will move south along Montgomery Street to Market Street, then west to the Civic Center Plaza.
People will likely gather along the route starting Tuesday night. There will be barricades going up along the route starting at around 10 p.m. Cross street traffic will be allowed up until about 10 a.m. on Wednesday when no one will be allowed across Market or Montgomery Streets.
There are three important BART/Muni Metro stations which have exits along the Market Street portion of the parade route:
- Montgomery Station
- Powell Station
- Civic Center Station
The Muni Metro will take you to those stations via basically any of their underground lines -- the J, K, L, M, N or T lines. You’ll need to use these instead of the buses because all surface street traffic will be jammed up, rerouted and confused due to the parade route closures and crowds.
In like fashion, BART takes you to the same three stations. From all of your East Bay lines, BART takes you under the Bay and into the City. They will run longer trains to help accommodate the crowds we anticipate but the parking lots at stations usually fill up by 6:30 a.m. This could be where you’ll find your hassle if you plan on BART.
Another option from the East Bay and your best option from the North Bay, are your ferry systems.
Let’s give you the bullet points on the various routes…
From the North Bay:
- Take the ferry (Larkspur, Sausalito or Tiburon) to the SF Ferry Building. From there, take the Muni Metro or BART from the Embarcadero Station to the Montgomery Station, Powell Station or Civic Center Station
From the East Bay:
- BART – All of your BART lines take you to the Montgomery Station, Powell Station or Civic Center Station.
- Ferry – Take the Alameda/Oakland or the Alameda Harbor Bay ferry to the SF Ferry Building. Catch the Muni Metro or BART from the Embarcadero Station and take it to the Montgomery Station, Powell Station or Civic Center Station
From the Peninsula:
- Take Caltrain or drive to the Millbrae Intermodal Terminal where you can take BART. Both available lines will take you to the Montgomery Station, Powell Station or Civic Center Station.
- Take Caltrain all the way into SF, to the end of the line at 4th and King (near AT&T Park) then take the Muni Metro (T Line) to the Montgomery Station, Powell Station or Civic Ctr Station.
From the South Bay:
- Head over to one of the East Bay options or the Peninsula options above.
If you will be driving to San Francisco via the Bay Bridge, do not take the 9th Street/Civic Center or 4th Street exits. They will jammed up and you won’t be able to cross Market St. either.
You should opt for the Mission/Duboce exits. You’ll need to find parking, of course, and the Civic Center Garage is the closest to City Hall where the parade ends and the ceremonies take place.
It will likely be packed. You can look for other public parking lots online.
Again, my advice is to park well out of the area and take one of the mass transit options into the area.
You may want to check out http://www.gottapark.com for possibilities as well. I’ve never used their service to locate or reserve a space but it may be a good time to try. If you try this network, let me know how it works out on Twitter @mikeynoway
With all of that said, getting into the area may be less of an issue than getting OUT of there.
Just like when you go to the movies or a concert, the crowd arrives over time but everyone tries to leave in one big rush. Bring your Clipper card if you have one to speed your access across transit agencies. Bring your patience because with big crowds come big delays. Most importantly bring your Orange and Black and focus on the occasion. Everything’s much easier to deal with when it comes with a side of Championship!