Please be patient.
That advice was repeated by several San Francisco officials at a Thursday press event detailing what residents might expect next week when the city hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting which runs from Saturday through Nov. 17.
The city activated its Emergency Operations Center on South Van Ness Avenue that will serve as the main place for coordination between city, state and federal agencies, as well the hub for public communications.
Police Chief Bill Scott said the city is expecting over 20,000 people across 21 member APEC economies and hundreds of CEOs from around the world.
“This city knows how to facilitate First Amendment activity,” Scott said, anticipating hundreds of organized protests. “We do it time and time again. We respect people exercising their First Amendment rights, but we will not tolerate violence and property destruction. If you see crime, please report it. Don’t stand and be complicit to others around you committing crimes because those people make it bad for everybody.”
“Next week is going to be a fun week in San Francisco,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s director of transportation. “There is a lot going on, but it is not going to be a fun week to drive.”
Because there are so many international dignitaries coming and going, the U.S. Secret Service is constantly changing plans and the city is preparing for rapidly changing circumstances.
“We respect people exercising their First Amendment rights, but we will not tolerate violence and property destruction. If you see crime, please report it. Don’t stand and be complicit to others around you committing crimes because those people make it bad for everybody.”San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott
Tumlin strongly recommended public transit and urged residents to keep checking for updates. The most reliable information can be found at sfmta.com/apec.
“Our department is updating that information multiple times per day as we get new information from Secret Service,” he said.
Signage is up now that includes the dates of impacts.
There will be places where the city is removing significant amounts of parking, but the city will be offering free access for affected residents in SFMTA garages, as well as free transit connections from those garages back into neighborhoods.
Beginning late Monday and lasting through Nov. 17, there will be significant closures and traffic redirects around the Nob Hill neighborhood and the Fairmont San Francisco hotel.
Starting Tuesday night, areas around the Moscone Center will start to be impacted and will be fully impacted by Wednesday, lasting through Nov. 17 and possibly the following day.
On Wednesday, impacts will be seen around the Exploratorium, and on Thursday, the Legion of Honor. Saturday might see delays at San Francisco International Airport due to an increase in departures.
There will be a couple of major Muni reroutes. The Yerba Buena Central Subway station will be closed next to the Moscone Center, and they will be rerouting T-Third trains via The Embarcadero into the Market Street subway. Those heading to events at Chase Center can transfer at any Market Street station to K-Ingleside or T-Third trains that will take them to Chase Center and onward into the Bayview District.
People going to Chinatown will be offered very frequent shuttle trains from Powell Street atation and Union Square station straight into the Chinatown-Rose Pak station.
“It’s going to be really hard to drive in San Francisco,” said Mayor London Breed. “So, we want folks to use the ferries, Caltrain, Muni, BART, all the great systems we have. Very comfortable tennis shoes will be really good options during the peak.”
There will be 1,200 international volunteers to help visitors find their way around, but residents can get information about the event at https://www.apec2023sf.org.
Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of the city’s Department of Emergency Management, also encouraged people to sign up for alerts in case of emergency by texting APEC2023 to 888-777.