San Francisco

San Francisco Prepares for Super Bowl Traffic With Closed Streets, Traffic Detours

Heads up: With the Bay Area gearing up to host NFL's biggest event, traffic detours — for bikers, drivers and pedestrians alike — will be taking over downtown San Francisco before you can blink.

“At work, we’re all talking about it,” said Kath Quintanella, a Peninsula BART commuter. “What are you going to do this weekend?”

While Quintanella and her coworkers struggle to come up with solutions to traffic woes sure to plague San Francisco between Jan. 23 and Feb. 8. 

Shannon Reed, a Muni commuter, has already resigned herself to the inevitable: 

“I’m expecting chaos and not getting anywhere as quickly," she said. 

Bay Area transport services have put together several guides on how regular city dwellers and commuters can navigate the bustling crowds.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has already put together one about road closures and detours for drivers, which you can check out here.

However, if you’re planning on biking, walking or taking public transit in late January and early February, read below for information on avoiding snarled streets.

Pedestrians, Bicycle Detours, Parking and Bay Area Bike Share (The information below comes from the SFMTA)

Traffic will be heavily congested on city sidewalks surrounding The Embarcadero, but there are suggested alternate routes planned for pedestrians and bike riders.

The bicycle detour recommended for those traveling between The Embarcadero and Market Street is on 2nd Street via Howard or Folsom Street. The SFMTA advises that bikers try to avoid 1st and Battery Streets, if at all possible,

SFMTA is also advising that bikers be wary of riding their bikes on the sidewalk due to the heavier flow of pedestrian traffic. On the East sidewalk in front of the Ferry Building, bicyclists have been advised to walk bikes on the east sidewalk.

For people who usually park their rides at Bay Area Bike Share stations, be advised that two stations will be moved during Super Bowl City.

The station at Harry Bridges Plaza (in front of the Ferry building) will be moved near the Ferry Building, right outside The Embarcadero Promenade.
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Important Message from BART: (The information below comes directly from BART’s playbook for Super Bowl week.

BART will work to match train length to meet demand wherever possible. We anticipate the highest ridership days will be Saturday, January 30 and Wednesday, February 3 through Saturday, February 6. We plan to dispatch as many cars as we can to increase carrying capacity during non-commute periods when additional cars are available.

In addition, BART will work to adjust train lengths on lines that serve SFO and OAK on the busy travel days, which are expected to be Wednesday, February 3 through Friday, February 5 and Monday, February 8.

We’ll also have additional Station Agents, Police Officers and supervisors working. If demand warrants, staff may augment ticket sales from vending machines by setting up tables to sell BART tickets at six stations which are frequently used to begin trips into the city: Fremont, Dublin/Pleasanton , Millbrae, El Cerrito del Norte, Pittsburg/Bay Point and San Francisco International Airport Station.

Parking, already in high demand at BART stations, will be even harder to find. Unless you already have a monthly parking permit, you are strongly encouraged to avoid driving yourself to a BART station and to instead choose one of the other options if it’s too far to walk: use transit connections, bicycling, carpooling or getting someone to drop you off.

For Commuters and Regular Riders

Yes, BART will run longer trains but, as regular riders probably know, not all trains can be 10 car trains. With perhaps tens of thousands people attending the Super Bowl events in downtown San Francisco, the crowded car survival guide is more useful than ever.

We suggest buying a round trip ticket or using Clipper card to avoid ending up in a line at the ticket machine; three special limited edition Clipper cards commemorating the Super Bowl will be issued. Again, unless you already have a monthly parking permit, don’t bank on finding a parking spot at one of the BART stations with lots or garages.

Embarcadero Station is expected to be even more congested during the week than normal. If you can be flexible in your schedule, it might make it a bit easier. One final tip: sign up for BART Service Advisories.

For more information on how you can make the most of BART during the Super Bowl, click here.

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