Safe walking in SF at midnight?
June 10, 2006 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Is it safe to walk from Great American Music Hall (SF) to BART after a show?

Yep. I'm from the burbs. Sorry. I usually drive, but I going to give public transit a shot. But SF does have its.. special... issues. Can my wife and I walk that far at midnaight and be safe, or is a cab a better idea?
posted by cccorlew to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (15 answers total)
You're definitely in one of the more sketchy parts of town (the Tenderloin district). I would recommend a cab.

I've walked through that neighborhood before and never had a problem, and hey, many people live there, it has good nightlife and there are lots of people around, and you will probably not have any trouble. In fact you will probably move with a wave of fellow concert goers after the show in which case, no problem. But if you wind up walking by yourselves and you look scared and out of place you are taking a bit of a risk. (stride confidently and trouble is less likely.) For five bucks you can skip the anxiety.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:18 PM on June 10, 2006

Sure, you can walk. For the best-lit, "safest" route (though hardly the shortest!), walk over to Van Ness, down Van Ness to Market and then down Market to the BART station. You'll evade the seediest bits that way.
posted by majick at 9:19 PM on June 10, 2006

(Disclaimer: I'm an intimidatingly large, long-haired male and I've been told I walk like a juggernaut. My advice about safe walking may not apply to women, small men, or people who emit victim vibes)
posted by majick at 9:23 PM on June 10, 2006

Been to SF many times and there's no doubt at that hour and the circumstances - get the cab. It's money well spent.
posted by thebarron at 9:28 PM on June 10, 2006

You could take the Geary bus down O'Farrell east to Market and take the Montgomery or Embarcadero station. But *don't* walk down Civic Center or Powell at that hour.
posted by jasper411 at 9:40 PM on June 10, 2006

Aw, Powell is fine. The Tenderloin isn't that bad. But yeah, Van Ness is a good, well-lit boulevard to walk down if you want to avoid misery and hustlers.
posted by Kirklander at 10:13 PM on June 10, 2006

I haven't lived there in a while, but I would not worry about it. If you leave when the show ends, you probably won't even be the only ones heading to the BART - There may even be people getting out of movies from the multitude of theaters right down the block. If you step out and feel worried, take the cab.
posted by mzurer at 11:03 PM on June 10, 2006

Do the faregates close at midnight? Or do they close just before the last train leaves (usually 12:15 or so)?

I've had to scoot out of shows early because I was worried about BART closing. Grrr.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:05 PM on June 10, 2006

I'm a woman who very consciously avoids "bad" (ie, deserted and scary) streets after dark. I have no problem on Van Ness, and I'd follow majick's route without any problem. In fact, I live near the Civic Center BART station and just went to a show at the GAMH the other night, and did in fact follow majick's route.
posted by occhiblu at 2:36 AM on June 11, 2006

I walked from GAMH to City Hall last Thursday night around 11-ish without giving it a second thought. It is a city, so it is not all beautiful, but it is pretty safe.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:43 AM on June 11, 2006

Unless things have deteriorated significantly in the year and a half since I moved back to London, you should be able to walk without a problem.
posted by MrMustard at 3:22 AM on June 11, 2006

As a Cal student a couple of friends and I missed the last BART back once and ended up wandering all over SF on foot the whole night without any problems (all three of us are small people, I was the largest at 5'7 & 135lbs). It couldn't have hurt that there were three of us and that we were dressed shabbily, so YMMV. This was a few years back now, but I don't imagine things have changed that much.
posted by juv3nal at 3:30 AM on June 11, 2006

Absolutely. If it was your wife alone, I might suggest a cab, but the two of you will have no problem. Just make sure you get to BART before it shuts down.
posted by trip and a half at 8:29 AM on June 11, 2006

I would walk, and have done so many times. (My wife also works in the baddest bit of the tenderloin and has for a few years. She occassionally comes home late and has never had a problem. Seen some unsavory stuff sure, but no real safety issues.) If the two of you are together, you aren't likely to have many problems. More along the lines of people sleeping where you want to be walking or drunk people walking back from a show at GAMH!

If you really really don't feel safe, take a cab. I wouldn't recommend screwing around with the bus at that hour if you are hoping to catch bart to go home.

I'm saying this as someone who is not a big person, and who (drunk as I was) was mugged once by a person pointing a knife at me. It was very very scary. What that taught me is sometimes it has more to do with what you project (drunk tourist? or regular person just making their way home?) than with what neighborhood you're walking through.
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 7:04 PM on June 11, 2006

I walked and lived. It was a touch weird seeing so many people laying in the street, and a few women doing business. But there were lots of other walkers. I'd do it again

We did have interesting times on BART home. Photos at
posted by cccorlew at 11:04 PM on July 2, 2006

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