Sunday Streets on The Embarcadero March 8

New Orleans "Streetcar Named Desire" No. 152 (built 1924) operates in demonstration E-Embarcadero service along with PCC No. 1007 during the 2008 Sunday Streets event.

New Orleans “Streetcar Named Desire” No. 952 (built 1923) runs in trial E-Embarcadero service along with PCC No. 1007 during 2008’s Sunday Streets event.

The weather is scary-summery, leading us to wring our hands over the worsening drought. But there’s an upside: a beautiful day expected Sunday for the first Sunday Streets event of the season, March 8 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Daylight Savings Time!) on The Embarcadero between Third Street and Pier 39. Details here.

This is the now-established event where automobiles are detoured, opening the northbound roadway for bicyclists, tricyclists, unicyclists, skateboarders, and users of virtually any other self-powered vehicle.  Including feet.

But the F-line streetcars will be operating, so it’s a great opportunity to come down and enjoy a ride as part of the day.  (Remember, though, the F-line streetcars cannot accommodate bikes on board.)

Market Street Railway sincerely wishes Muni could put out some of the unique streetcars, like Muni Car 1 and the Boat Tram, for the event, but Muni reports a continuing shortage of trained operators they’ve been trying to address for a couple of years now.  (We’re hoping that something positive in that regard will develop at the last minute, but it’s not likely.)  We’ll have an article about this frustrating training situation in the next issue of our member newsletter, Inside Track, due out in early April.

While you’re on the waterfront, stop into our San Francisco Railway Museum across from the Ferry Building to see our exhibit, “Fair, Please,” on how Muni came of age in order to serve the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The Examiner just carried a long article on Muni’s 1915 fair service with lots of quotes from us. Unfortunately, though, the article got mixed up about the historic streetcar extension to Fort Mason. As much as we might wish it to be true, the streetcar extension through the historic 1914 rail tunnel (built in part to bring materials to the Exposition site) will not be hosting streetcars this summer.

The reporter apparently confused the startup of weekend service on the E-Embarcadero historic streetcar line between Fisherman’s Wharf and Caltrain, still slated by Muni for July of this year, with the future extension to Fort Mason, for which funding is still being sought. And the headline writer erroneously called the Fair service the “birthing of Muni,” when it was more a case of Muni going from toddler to teenager in the course of a couple of growth-spurt years. But it was still a good piece, and we recommend it.