Puff. Puff. Puff.
It’s that time of year again, when thousands descend on “Hippie Hill” at Golden Gate Park on April 20 to take a puff, a few puffs, or many, many puffs of marijuana to culminate in a huge cloud of smoke at 4:20 p.m.
While this event has been occurring in San Francisco for a number of years, dating back to the 1970s, this will be first 4/20 event since sales of marijuana for recreational use began in January. Voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016 which legalized the sale of recreational marijuana.
City officials — as they do every year since 2013 — will execute a plan to mitigate issues of traffic around Golden Gate Park, public transportation reroutes, public urination, damage of city property, public safety and the clean-up that follows the event.
President of the Board of Supervisors London Breed said the event has a private sponsor to provide more safety measures, portable toilets and food venders:
“With their involvement, there will be a fenced perimeter, port-a-potties, approved food vendors, medical personnel, security, crowd control, and adult only admission.”
There will be no alcohol, no drugs for sale at the event, no unauthorized music and no unpermitted concessions will be let into Golden Gate Park or the surrounding event area.
A one-mile long chain-linked fence will surround the event area, which will go up starting Wednesday and come down Saturday, according to Breed’s office.
The event will impact a number of areas in the park, including Robin Williams Meadow, Little Rec, Koret Playground, Carousel, Sharon Arts Studio, Lawn Bowling and the Golden Gate Park Tennis Courts.
Crowds can expect to see a big police presence surrounding Golden Gate Park and affected neighborhoods in uniforms and in plain clothes. Park rangers will also be at the event along with an additional 60 private security guards.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to double the amount of parking control officers compared to 2017 to keep traffic moving, issue tickets, and tow illegally parked cars.
The Department of Public Works will install portable toilets on Walter and Stanyan streets. Recreation and Park will put out temporary trash, recycling and compostable receptacles.
Muni and Street Closures
The SFMTA will keep a focus on the N-Judah to make sure its running during the peak times of the event.
Parking control officers will scatter around the N-Judah route from Carl and Cole streets to 9th Avenue and Judah Street. Expect the N-Judah to see an increase in ridership during the event.
Passengers will experience reroutes on the 7-Haight/Noriega, 33-Asbury/18th, 37-Corbett and 43-Masonic at around 2 p.m.
Four shuttle buses will leave from John F. Kennedy and Conservatory Drive at 5 p.m. with express service to Civic Center. The shuttles will run until they are no longer needed.
Breed’s office said vehicles and the public will have no access to John F. Kennedy Drive between Kezar Drive and Eighth Avenue.
AAA is offering its Tipsy Tow service that will start at 4:20 p.m. on Friday until 4:20 a.m. on Saturday. Anyone who needs the service can call 1-800-222-4357. The service provides a free ride home along with a vehicle tow of to 10 miles. This is the first AAA is offering this service for the annual cannabis event.