Police hope to control July 4 gridlock | June 27, 2008 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |


Mountain View Voice

News - June 27, 2008

Police hope to control July 4 gridlock

by Daniel DeBolt

The Fourth of July fireworks display at Shoreline has become a Mountain View tradition. Unfortunately, so has post-fireworks gridlock, the result of thousands of spectators getting back in their cars and trying to drive out on the area's two roads: Shoreline Boulevard and Amphitheatre Parkway.

For about 8,000 people, the draw is the San Francisco Symphony's performance at Shoreline Amphitheatre, which is followed by fireworks. But the traffic problem, police say, is caused by about 10,000 others who choose to park nearby — in the Google parking lots, for example — to watch the fireworks display. The city's system for guiding traffic out of the area is only designed to move vehicles out of the Shoreline Amphitheatre, police say. Everyone else has to wait.

"We do expect traffic will be an issue," said police spokesperson Liz Wylie. "We are doing more this year than last year. We will have more officers this year [directing traffic] than last year."

"I remember my experience from last year of how difficult and how long it took to leave the area when the fireworks were over," said resident Sarah Sun in an e-mail to the Voice. "It took almost two hours sitting bumper to bumper."

Sun recommended the city provide a shuttle service to the area, something the City Council has discussed.

"The shuttle idea is a good idea," said council member Margaret Abe-Koga. "We would have to budget it. We are still talking about community shuttles. We've directed staff to find more specific routes that would make sense. One route I was thinking was downtown to the North Bayshore area."

Another solution that already exists is the Stevens Creek Trail. Though it's technically closed after dark, residents of the Old Mountain View neighborhood have organized walks to the July 4 event using the trail.


The Fourth of July Fireworks Show with the San Francisco Symphony begins at 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. Lawn seats are $24 each. For more, call (650) 967-3000 or visit www.shorelineamp.com.


Posted by Steve Dodge, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I've frequented the fireworks show at Shoreline for well over a decade.

We have used the Steven's Creek Trail to attend/leave the fireworks event ever since the trail was opened in the late 90's, with no problems what-so-ever. It's a great way to avoid road traffic.

When leaving following the display, pedestrians normally walk on the right side of the path, and cyclists (with lights hopefully) ride on the left. This "system" has worked just fine for years.

Posted by Palo Alto Resident, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm

We have walked via the tunnel on Bayshore (near what used to be Kikis and Palo Alto Joes) and many use bikes too. The other idea is to park at Costco and walk.

Posted by Nana, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for the tip! We'll will be pushing strollers on the trail!

Posted by GJ, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm

SUNDAY show is free

Celebrate America 2008
Sunday, June 29 5:00p to 10:00p
at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
Celebrate America is a nonpartisan patriotic musical celebration and laser light show spectacular brought to the Silicon Valley by Bethel Church.

Price: Free to the Public
Phone: 408-246-6790 x114
Web: Event Web Site
Age Suitability: All Ages

Was in SJ Mercury paper