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Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Local's Survival Guide to PGA Charles Schwab Golf Tournament at SF's Harding Park

The PGA Champions Tour is returning to San Francisco at Lake Merced's Harding Park golf course. I've read over the material and found out this event won't be as bad as other times where streets have been closed-off, certain areas turned into defacto parking lots for the rich and wealthy, and Muni lines were seriously re-routed. With much less traffic and transit restrictions, it looks like this might be a much lower profile event than the other two that snarled the area and made a lot of SF State students, faculty, and staff upset; one huge reason, a one day ticket is only $25, while the last two events charged at least double or triple.

Here's an easy guide to a smooth experience during this golf tourney (whether you are a local trying to get around or just wanting to see golfers wash their balls):

Event dates:
  • Held from Monday, November 1st, to Sunday, November 7th.
  • Monday and Tuesday is not for the general public.
  • Wednesday through Sunday is for the general public to access. Practice round is Wednesday, and tournament play is the remaining days.
Traffic Closures:
  • The SFMTA's ISCOTT meeting agenda states in item "R," Herbst road that services the Janet Pomeroy center, National Guard, and the delivery entrance for the SF Zoo will be closed from 6:30AM to 5:30PM each day.
  • This is the only noted road closure from the ISCOTT notes, thereby any other closures could be deemed illegal because only ISCOTT can approve city road closures (that is, unless there's an emergency).
Transit Changes:
  • Sanctioned parking lots are located at the Stonestown Mall from Wednesday to Sunday, and SF State from Saturday to Sunday (see map).
  • Parking in the street might get tricky, especially with the heavy restrictions and time limits in the SF State area.
  • Don't park in the SF State garage until the weekend. Campus cops are watching, and you don't want to mess with thousands of students, staff, and faculty who uses the lot on a daily basis.
  • Do not park in Daly City BART to take advantage of the free shuttle. The BART lot is for passengers only and registering the car in the paid area of the station is REQUIRED. Abusing the system will result in a large fine and/or towing.
Transit options to event:
  • BART: Daly City station will have shuttles.
  • Muni: 29 Sunset provides service to the main gates near "Sunset Circle" (a.k.a. where Lake Merced Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. meets). L-Taraval is a walk to the main gates from the terminus stop at the Zoo. 18-46th Avenue passengers should exit at Sloat and Skyline and walk to main gates. 23-Monterey passengers should exit at Sunset Blvd and walk.
  • Bike: Free bike racks at "Sunset Circle" main gates.
  • Taxi: Drop-off on Lake Merced between Sunset and Skyline.
  • See complete map.

Here's some local resident tips if you are just trying to avoid this train wreck:
  • Great Highway between Sloat and Skyline is now fully opened in both directions. This will ease the traffic that will happen due to the golf tourney along Skyline.
  • If you are commuting along the 18-46th Avenue and 29-Sunset, expect some delays due to traffic.
  • If you work for the SF Zoo or need access to the Janet Pomeroy center, hopefully they informed you about the road closure.
  • You might want to avoid the Sunset Circle area and the adjacent roads.
  • If you work or go to SF State, arrive a little earlier. If you depend on street parking, you should definitely get to campus much earlier if those golf spectator cheapskates steal all the parking.
Let's hope for a smooth golf tournament and minimal road or transit hassles.

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