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Your traffic and transit guide to 4th of July in San Francisco

Local transit officials have a clear message for those looking to celebrate a (maybe foggy) 4th of July in San Francisco: Take public transit, because if you drive you’ll definitely get caught in traffic.

As many as 200,000 people are expected to head to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero for the night’s fireworks.

BART, Muni and Caltrain are all offering their annual extra service for Independence Day celebrations.

When it’s happening: Celebrations start at 2 p.m., and will see locals and tourists alike stream towards entertainment at Pier 39, Aquatic Park and Ghirardelli Square, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The fireworks will kick off at 9:30 p.m.

Street closures and traffic advisories: Starting at 8:30 p.m. no traffic will be allowed north of Lombard Street, from Van Ness Avenue to Doyle Drive, except for residents, according to SFMTA. The Marina Boulevard exit off Doyle Drive may be closed from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, and Jefferson Street from Aquatic Park to Hyde Street will be closed from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 5 p.m. Thursday.

Traffic is expected to be “very congested” in downtown San Francisco throughout the weekend, according to SFMTA. Traffic along the Bay Bridge to and from Treasure Island is expected to get heavy from noon to 11 p.m.

Parking meters and seven-day street sweeping will be enforced citywide, according to the SFMTA, but residential parking permits and Monday through Friday daytime street sweeping will not be enforced.

Southbound traffic on Polk Street between Bay and Union streets will be restricted to buses, taxis and bicycles only between 9 and 11 p.m. to allow for swift transit travel, according to the SFMTA. Northbound traffic on Polk Street will not be restricted, the agency said.

Muni, BART and Caltrain service: Muni, BART and Caltrain will run Sunday reduced service for most of the day, but provide extra service immediately before and after the fireworks display in San Francisco. The 76X-Marin Headlands Express, which whisks riders from San Francisco to the Marin Headlands, will be in service.

Muni will run express shuttle service from 2 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. connecting people from the Muni Metro Subway, BART ferries and Caltrain to the fireworks viewing areas along the Embarcadero, from Caltrain Station to Pier 39. BART will run longer trains and “some extra event trains” for the evening, though the next day they will cancel some commute trains due to “expected low ridership.”

Caltrain will run extra late night southbound service after the fireworks, making all local weekend stops between San Francisco and San Jose. The last train will San Francisco’s 4th and King station at 12:05 a.m.

After the fireworks, Muni will run express shuttles from 9 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Those two shuttles will board at Kearny and North Point streets, bound for the Ferry Building and Caltrain, and depart Van Ness Avenue and Bay Street bound for the Civic Center Muni and BART station.

Muni reroutes: If you’re taking Muni regularly on the 4th of July, some regular service will be affected by the festivities. The F-Market & Wharves line will operate as Muni buses all day, instead of as streetcars, and the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason lines will operate as regular Muni buses after 2 p.m.

After the fireworks, SFMTA warns that Muni service on the 28-19th Avenue, 91-Owl, 22-Fillmore, 45-Union-Stockton and 76X-Marin Headlands Express may be more crowded than usual.

joe@sfexaminer.com

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