Neighbors concerned about trick-or-treat safety during Outside Lands

The Outside Lands music festival is returning to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park this weekend, and workers are busy preparing for the three-day event's return. The timing of the festival this year, however, is raising concern for residents who say the change from August to October is creating new headaches. The event opens on a school day and ends on Halloween night.

"I'm terrified for this weekend to be honest," said Celina Martin, a San Francisco resident who lives with her three children near one of the main entrances on 30th Avenue, "We love it in August because the city's almost empty. Halloween weekend? I don't know who had that idea."

"We're actually very, very annoyed, because we not going to be able to go trick-or-treating anywhere because there's no way for us to get back to our house that day. And all the soccer games for the kids are canceled because they're in Golden Gate Park," said Martin, who also worries about picking up her children from school Friday and getting back home through the crowds.

"It'll be a little different because the kids will be out and want to make sure they're safe," said Kevin Wong, another San Francisco resident who lives near the park.

Residents also worry about concertgoers who might have been drinking walking through neighborhoods where children could be trick-or-treating.

There's also concern about safety. In past years, a flood of cars and people usually surround the park.

Transit agencies say they are increasing service to reduce the congestion in the neighborhoods.

"We're actually running express 5 Fulton service. It will take people from Civic Center Bart station all the way to Golden Gate Park. And likewise, we will have additional Muni service on the N-Judah, that's a train, as well as the 5 Rapid," said Erica Kato, chief spokeswoman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

SF Muni is advising people to prepare before they ride.

"Download the Muni mobile app. You can pay for your tickets in advance," said Kato.

BART also is extending it's schedule on Sunday running trains until past midnight.

"So one train will leave an hour," said Alicia Trost, BART's spokeswoman, "The yellow line will be the only line running through the city and then we'll have timed transfers waiting for you no matter where you need to get to."

BART says people can buy fares in advance with their new mobile app.

"You can even add the fares the moment before you go into BART and the fare gates will work with your phone now," said Trost.

Along Belvedere Street, famous for trick or treating, residents are preparing.

"We get about 3,000 kids a year," said Michael Miller, who has lived on Belvedere Street for decades.

Miller says residents have requested city street barricades, but if they don't get them, they have a backup plan.

"We'll put our garbage cans up so cars can't come through, so we're going to make it safe as possible for the kids," said Miller.

Some families say their message for people coming in from out of town this weekend, is to be extra careful.  

"Parking is a nightmare. It's always a nightmare. and just to be smart about where you're parking and remember this is a neighborhood where people live so just to be aware and cautious and courteous,' said Katie O'Brien of San Francisco.

This year, taxis and rideshare services will not be allowed near the park. Instead, there will be two drop-off sites: Irving Street between 25th and 27th Avenue on the south side of the park, and Washington High School at 30th Avenue and Balboa will be the drop-off site north of the park.

Outside Lands begins at 12 noon Friday October 29th and ends at 10 p.m. Sunday on Halloween night.





Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook