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Fourth of July in SF: Street closures, transit changes, and more

Everything you need to know about getting around on Independence Day

New Year celebrations in San Francisco Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Thursday marks our country’s annual tradition of barbecue, flag waving, and pyrotechnics in the sky. Choice spots to see fireworks shows can be found all over the Bay Area, from Marin to Silicon Valley. And San Francisco sets off fireworks from two locations in front of Fisherman’s Wharf: One at the end of the Municipal Pier and the other in front of Pier 39.

And these are just the legally-sanctioned fireworks. There are also a slew of verboten fireworks that will slow down traffic throughout the city. So getting around by car won’t be a festive experience.

Expect road closures, Muni changes, and more during 4th of July.

Street closures and traffic changes

  • Jefferson and Beach streets along Fisherman’s Wharf will be closed.
  • Other neighborhoods expected to be the most affected are Embarcadero, North Beach, Marina, and Russian Hill. Driving around these neighborhoods on July 4 will be a fool’s errand. We do no recommend it. Instead, hop aboard Muni.
  • The Mission District will be a trudge to get through Thursday evening as the neighborhood’s unsanctioned fireworks bacchanalia gets underway.

San Francisco Muni reroutes

On Thursday, Muni will operate on a Sunday schedule for the entire system. Several Muni lines and routes will be rerouted around the fireworks viewing area along Fisherman’s Wharf.

Many routes will also switchback—i.e., changing from inbound to outbound—before they reach the event area. Here is a table that summarizes the changes to each route and when each line or route begins to reroute.

  • The E Embarcadero will be replaced with a bus starting at 2 p.m.
  • Cable Cars will be replaced with a bus starting at 2 p.m.
  • The 27-Bryant may reroute due to “informal fireworks displays” in the evening. If this happens, the reroutes will be: Inbound to downtown: On York, between 20th and 18th streets; Outbound to the Mission: On Florida, between 18th and 20th streets
  • The 43-Masonic may experience delays due to crowds beginning at 7 p.m.
  • The 76X-Marin Headlands Express may have to reroute if park ranger service implements traffic control. If this is necessary, the following stops will be missed: Outbound to Marin Headlands, Alexander Drive and Conzelman Road, Conzelman Road and Kirby Cove Conzelman Road and McCullough Road, and McCullough Road and Bunker Road.
  • 8 Bayshore: Switchback will begin at Bay Street at 3 p.m. For service to Visitacion Valley and City College, board at Powell and Lombard.
  • 8 Bayshore: Switchback will begin at Lombard at 7 p.m. For service to Visitacion Valley and City College, board at Columbus and Union.
  • 19 Polk: Switchback will begin at Greenwich Street at 3 p.m. For service to Hunters Point, board at Polk and Francisco.
  • 28 19th Avenue: Reroute will be along Laguna, Bay, Polk, Francisco, Van Ness and Chestnut at 5 a.m. Temporary layover will be at Bay and Polk. For service to Daly City BART, board at Van Ness and Chestnut.
  • 30 Stockton: Reroute will be along Union and Van Ness at 3 p.m. For service to downtown, board at Chestnut and Van Ness or Stockton ands Columbus. For service to the Marina, board at Stockton and Columbus or Chestnut and Laguna.
  • 39 Coit: Switchback will begin at Bay Street at 3 p.m. For service to Coit Tower, board at Powell and Bay or Powell and Lombard.
  • 47 Van Ness: Switchback will begin at Bay Street at 3 p.m. For service to Caltrain, board at Van Ness and Chestnut.
  • 49 Van Ness/Mission: Switchback will begin at Chestnut at 5 a.m.
  • 90 San Bruno Owl: Switchback will begin at North Point Street at 1 a.m. For service to Visitacion Valley, board at Van Ness and Chestnut.