Is there any middle ground to Bay to Breakers, a happy medium between NIMBYs whining about peed-upon homes and would-be revelers shrieking about the War on Fun and the right to a seven-mile, 50,000-person fraternity party? Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi hopes so.
On Tuesday, the elected representative for Alamo Square and Panhandle homeowners — the property which appears to be Ground Zero for peeing, puking and the other side effects of shotgunning a 12 pack of PBR before and after one dresses like a Smurf — formally asked the question on many a mind after Sunday’s annual festival of Caligula-like excess: “Why?”
It will be on the heads of the San Francisco Police Department, Department of Public Works and the Recreation and Park Department to provide the answers, after Mirkarimi introduced Letters of Inquiry to each department on Tuesday. A hearing has not been scheduled, but all three agencies will report on what they saw, what they said, and how much it cost SF taxpayers to provide the Bay Area’s largest outdoor urinal during Sunday’s 99th running of Bay to Breakers.
Mirkarimi seemed to point the finger at race sponsor ING (who funds the race, Anschutz Entertainment Group, who shares a parent company with The Examiner, owns the rights to the name “Bay to Breakers”).
“Two years ago, we asked race sponsors to take heed of the evolution of the race and prepare accordingly for when a race is not just a serious athletic event, but a signature, unique only in San Francisco event, for the people who come not just to race, but to party,” he said Tuesday, providing the kindest euphemism for drunken peeing people possible. “We had asked for this; it has yet to be done.”
Some things that could be done: getting more drunks to pay for a race bib, getting more floats to register, putting on some kind of event in Golden Gate Park so that it is there, and not in the Panhandle, that folks dump trash and trou.
At any rate, expect nobody to take responsibility for the social phenomenon that leads young people to strip off their workaday clothes and attitudes and throw caution — and their urine streams — to the wind. Sam Singer, a spokesman for the race, blamed the Panhandle carnage on “pirates,” who can be particularly unruly, as everyone knows. We’ll let you know when the hearings are scheduled, and will duly report back.