ol2012.jpgResidents of Sunset and Richmond surrounding Golden Gate park, you have been warned. The Outside Lands Festival is coming this weekend. For concert goers this promises to be a weekend of fun, but residents of the area are not always as excited about the event.

Historically, the area we know and love as Golden Gate Park was called the “Outside Lands” as settlers categorized this area as a sand wasteland. It wasn’t until 1880 that the land was cultivated and opened to the public for pedestrians and carriages to enjoy. Today, Golden Gate Park is the third most visited park in America. And, for those who are new to San Francisco, or just simply choose to live under a rock (or as they like to say “checked out of the ‘Matrix'”) the Outside Lands Festival is the park’s annual “Food, Music, Art, and Wine Festival,” expected to attract around 200,000 people the the park this Saturday and Sunday.

In the past there have been complaints of excessive noise and littering on event weekends, but organizers say this year will be a little different from the years past.

Slow ticket sales and what some describe as an anemic lineup have shrank the typically three day event to span only across Saturday and Sunday , so commuters need not worry about looking for an alternative route home on Friday.

For area residents who prefer not to have their turf invaded by concertgoers, getting out of town for the weekend is one option, however, if you are planning on spending a lazy weekend running errands or cooking and enjoying some quiet time at home, there are some tips to keep in mind to keep the weekend as stress-free as possible.

Akit has put together the most comprehensive guide to deal with noise pollution and traffic for the festival weekend. The following are some key pointers I’ve pulled from the guide:

1. Park your car on or before Friday – and don’t move it! Work those calves, quads, and gluts and walk to wherever you may need to go this weekend, because I guarantee you will not find parking on your way back. The same goes if you rely on taxi cabs to get you around the city. They will be congested and response time will be slow.

2. If you must take the bus, avoid the N-Judah, 28-19th Avenue, and the 5-Fulton. These buses will be hit by the most traffic from festival goers. The rest of the buses will be swamped too, but if you’re in a pinch, they’ll still work.

3. And finally, if you MUST drive, stay away from the following East-West streets: Fulton, Cabrillo, Balboa, Lincoln, Irving, and Judah.

Of course, if you feel the noise or traffic does get out of control, don’t be patient – call the following numbers to complain.

(415) 752-2098: Outside Lands’ community hotline will be manned on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 11PM

(415) 831-2774: SF’s Park and Rec’s office will have signs available for residents who want to tell people to not block their driveways.

(415) 553-0123: The non-emergency line of the police if people start getting out of line. Call 911 if it’s a really bad problem.

(415) 553-1200: Department of Parking and Traffic’s hotline if you want to report illegal parking, including blocked driveways.

(415) 554-7410: Supervisor Eric Mar’s office for the Richmond (District 1).

(415) 554-7460: Supervisor Carmen Chu’s office for the Outer Sunset (District 4).

311 or (415) 701-2311: San Francisco 311

The Outside Lands Festival will be held Saturday, August 14th thru Sunday, August 15th. For additional information, check out the Outside Lands festival website.

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