With reopening on hold in much of the Bay Area, holiday weekend closures include roads and popular gathering spots, as well as beaches - though in some cases streets are closed to encourage safe shopping and dining during the coronavirus pandemic.
Health officials from across the region issued a joint statement urging residents to stay safe by celebrating the traditionally social Fourth of July holiday at home - and only with the members of their immediate household.
All beaches and related parking areas in San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica and other communities, including the Monterey Peninsula, will be closed from early Friday through late Sunday or even Monday morning.
Half Moon Bay tried to make it as clear as possible that there would be no beach parking or access during the holiday weekend. Warning signs were posted, but on Friday visitors still lined up.
“It definitely does feel extreme, but these are extreme times I guess,” said Jaya Chavern of Mountain View.
To enforce the closures, law enforcement officials are patrolling beaches, some on ATVs, both in Half Moon Bay and in Pacifica. People who trespass get a warning, but their names go into a database and if caught again they can be cited and fined.
“We’re going to be very assertive,” said Half Moon Bay Mayor Adam Eisen. “We’ve got three and a half times the sheriff’s presence than we usually have on the Fourth of July. A lot more than usual.”
Still, some beachside residents are skeptical.
One video showed people at Surfers Beach ignoring signs Friday, even lifting children over barriers.
“I think crowds are going to come anyway,” said Half Moon Bay resident Ed Martin. “They always have in the past, they park wherever they want and they kinda do what they want.”
In the East Bay, Grizzly Peak Boulevard will be closed to all non-local pedestrians and vehicles, including bicycles, from Skyline Boulevard in Oakland to Centennial Drive in Berkeley for 24 hours starting at 5 a.m. Saturday, July 4. The main goal is to prevent gridlock, which can be dangerous when emergency vehicles need to get through.
But many communities are continuing recent weekend street closures that have the goal of encouraging traffic - on foot - and commercial activity.
In Danville, Hartz Avenue downtown will be closed from Diablo Road to School Street, from 4 a.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Sunday. In Palo Alto, University Avenue and California Avenue will close to encourage pedestrian traffic. In Los Altos, several downtown streets will be closed from Thursday morning through Monday morning each week until the end of September.
San Francisco beach and beach parking lot closures include Baker Beach; China Beach; Crissy Field (West Bluff and East Beach); Fort Funston; Fort Point (Parking Lot and Long Avenue); Golden Gate Bridge (Langdon Court and Battery East); Lands End (Merrie Way and Navy Memorial parking); Marina Green; and Ocean Beach.
On the Monterey Peninsula, all beaches are also closed from early Friday through late on Sunday, and nearby by parking is limited or prohibited.