San Francisco Bay Area weekend traffic tips and events May 17-19 | KCBS 740AM

It’s one of the biggest weekends of the year with some of the most well-known special events taking place all around the Bay Area. That means this is one of the biggest Major Timesaver reports from Bob Pryor of the KCBS Radio traffic team. Just like every Friday, he’s put together a rundown of things to do and the best ways to drive and get around by public transit. 

If you download the RADIO.COM app and make us one of your favorite stations, we’ll send the weekend guide to you on your phone every Friday afternoon. 

It’s a weekend made for fresh air fiends, as Sunday’s festive Viva CalleSJ opens up six miles of streets to car-free activities and explorations. The mother of all footraces takes place in San Francisco as the 108th running of the Bay To Breakers draws serious and decidedly-less-than-serious runners from near and far. From Friday to Sunday, fans of creativity and innovation can view the works of some brilliant artists and inventors at Maker Fair in San Mateo; or take in the highlights of Hellenic dance, food, and culture on display at the Greek Festival in the Oakland Hills.

By the way, if you’re traveling in to San Francisco for Bay to Breakers, BART will begin running trains at 6am, earlier than a typical Sunday. 


Sun, May 19 from 10am-3pm: San Jose: ”Viva CalleSJ” takes place. San Jose closes miles of streets to bring communities together to walk, bike, skate, play, and explore. It isn’t a race, but a lot of people will run, jog, skate, bike or use anything else without a motor. This time the route is called “Downtown and Eastbound” and a map of it is here.

  • Pro tip: As always, if you’re going, public transit is the way to go. Since this event covers so much ground, one approach might be to look at this list of VTA re-routes. If a bus is being re-routed around an event, it’s also usually a good way to get to that event. Given the many street closures associated with this event, it certainly beats driving.
  • Areas and roadways affected: From 8am-4pm, there will be various streets closed from the Downtown area (N 1st Street at St. John Street) south to 2nd and Keyes Streets and east onto Story Road, out to Emma Prusch Farm Park. For a complete list of street closures, go here.  


Fri, May 17 (10am-11pm); Sat, May 18 (11am-11pm); Sun, May 19 (11am-9pm): Oakland Greek Festival takes place in the Oakland Hills just below Hwy-13, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension. Greek music, dance, food, and a general celebration of lively Hellenic culture.

  • Pro tip: Nice thing about this festival is they’ve got the parking arrangements down to a science, with one premium paid lot and four free lots, all served by free shuttles, as explained on their Parking and Directions page. Just drive to one of the lots and you’re good (There’s also a rideshare pickup/dropoff location on Lincoln Avenue).
  • Areas and roadways affected: Extra traffic on Lincoln Ave/Joaquin Miller Road, Highway 13.

Sun, May 19 from 8am through 6pm: BART will be single-tracking trains between South Hayward and Fremont stations. BART travelers through this area should add an extra 20-to-30 minutes to their anticipated travel time. Single-tracking is necessary so crews can do track replacement work. For more info, go here.


Fri, May 17 (1pm-5pm preview day); Sat, May 18 (10am-7pm); Sun, May 19 (10am-6pm): San Mateo County Event Center hosts the 2019 Bay Area Maker Faire. Eight stages with presentations, demos and how-to’s on how to design, build, control, or pilot almost anything; hundreds of hands-on and interactive exhibits. Everything from personal submersibles to flame art and a water computer.

  • Pro tip: The Maker Faire’s Transportation webpage is here. It explains how you can get to the Faire via BART, SamTrans or CalTrain (It’s a 10-to-. Page also gives information on free off-site parking (on-site parking is $35).   
  • Areas and roadways affected: In San Mateo, expect heavier than normal traffic on Saratoga Ave and South Delaware Street.


Sun, May 19 from 8am (start time) to 1pm (finish line closes): San Francisco: The 108th Annual Bay To Breakers race will likely draw 50,000-plus runners. The race will close many streets from the starting line at Main and Howard streets on the east side of San Francisco, across the city, to the finishing line 12K away, on the Great Highway near Fulton Street. The Finishing Line Festival will be in the Ocean Beach Parking Lot, off the Great Highway between John F. Kennedy Drive and Lincoln Way.


BART: All BART stations will open early with service starting at approximately 6am. Trains running before 8am will run at 20 to 30-minute intervals. Due to anticipated crowding, BART is encouraging riders originating from Peninsula and San Francisco stations to get off at Montgomery Street Station and riders coming from the East Bay to debark at Embarcadero Station. Both stations are just a short distance from Howard and Spear Streets.

MUNI: The MUNI Metro subway will open at 6am, with shuttles running from West Portal to Embarcadero. Runners may also take the F Market Line or any Muni Metro line that runs along Market Street to downtown in order to get near the starting line at Howard and Main streets. There will be extra service provided on the N Judah Line and on many other Muni lines. 

CalTrain: There will be four special pre-race trains to San Francisco and one additional local train after the race from San Francisco to San Jose. The race’s starting line is about 1.4 miles from the San Francisco Caltrain Station at Fourth and King streets (You can either walk or take the  T-Third light rail). Staff will be at San Jose Diridon and Palo Alto early to assist customers. To see the schedule for the additional trains, go here and scroll down.

Larkspur Ferry:  Has added one early morning trip, departing the Larkspur Terminal at 6:45am and arriving at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal at 7:40am. For information on that trip and other Sunday schedule information, go here.

San Francisco Bay Ferry: Has added an extra Vallejo departure at 6am, arriving at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal at about 7am.


Muni: Buses will be staged at the finish line area (at Fulton Street between 47th and 45th Avenues and at Judah and La Playa streets) to provide special service back downtown (Fare must be paid before boarding, or MuniMobile tickets activated as you board).

CalTrain: One additional local train will depart San Francisco at 1:22pm and will make regular local weekend stops to San Jose Diridon. Caltrain will also provide extra post-event capacity on other trains. 

BART and the ferries: Will offer regular Sunday service to get everyone home.

  • Pro tip: Once the race begins, travelers will only have two options to cross the north/south portion of the course: the Embarcadero in downtown; and Crossover Drive which connects 19th Avenue, south of Golden Gate Park to Park Presidio Boulevard and 25th Avenue, north of Golden Gate Park.


Sat, May 18: Santa Rosa from 9am-2:30pm: Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival takes place in Courthouse Square. The festival will feature family activities, food  vendors, parade awards, and live entertainment.

  • Pro tip: To see which streets and parking lots or garages will be closed in the downtown area on Sunday, go here.   
  • Areas and roadways affected: In Downtown Santa Rosa, there will be street closures through about 12:30pm and extra traffic in the area until after the festival concludes at 2:30pm.

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