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Safety guidelines imposed for July 4

Thursday June 28, 2001

The Police and Fire Departments remind the public that fireworks are not permitted within the City of Berkeley. It is a violation to own, use or sell any type of fireworks within the city limits.  

The City of Berkeley is again presenting a Fourth of July fireworks show at the Berkeley Marina. The fireworks celebration will start at 9:30 p.m., Wednesday. The pyrotechnic display will last about one half-hour. It will be launched from the Berkeley pier at the foot of University Avenue, but will be visible from all over the Marina and elsewhere. 

To handle the crowds, additional police personnel will be present. This year the police will enforce a policy of NO TOLERANCE pertaining to both alcohol and fireworks. 

The following closures will occur as a result of this event: 

• The city will close the Marina to vehicular traffic after the parking lots have been filled, which is usually about 7 p.m. 

• At the same time, the I-80 overpass at University Avenue, West Frontage Road from Emeryville to Albany, and Gilman Street at its intersection with I-80 will also be closed to vehicular traffic. 

• For fire safety reasons, Panoramic Way in the Berkeley Hills will be closed beginning at 6 p.m. except for residents and their guests. A police department checkpoint will monitor traffic there. Centennial Drive will be closed at about 9 p.m. 

• During the road closure, AC Transit's 51M bus will use the bus stop at Third Street and University Avenue as a terminus. 

• Access to the fishing pier will be closed to pedestrians and fishing at 5 p.m. in preparation for the show. The pier is at the foot of University Avenue in the Berkeley Marina. 

• University Avenue to the Marina will be closed to incoming vehicular traffic at 7 p.m., but will remain open to pedestrians the entire evening. The road will reopen about one-half hour after the fireworks display to let people leave the area safely. 

The Marina has several parks and picnic areas available on a first-come basis. No group reservations are available and Adventure Playground in the Marina will be open. The Marina has ample parking, but the parking lots are expected to fill up late in the day. Public transportation to the Marina is available via AC Transit bus 51M, which will stop at Third Street and University Avenue after the overpass has been closed. 

This event is expected to attract 40,000 people. It not only features 30 minutes of continuous, colorful fireworks, but also a rare opportunity for pedestrians to walk on a part of Berkeley's roadways usually closed to foot traffic. Pedestrians and bicyclists have the easiest access to the Marina for the fireworks. 

Due to the high fire danger during the dry season, the police department is asking that if people observe fireworks use within the city, they should call the Police Department non-emergency number at 981-5900, 24 hours a day or contact the Fire Prevention Division Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 981-5585.