The city of Pleasanton has put in place a unique and highly-restricted traffic plan designed to coordinate a safe and efficient way for the more than 70,000 fairgoers expected to attend the Alameda County Fair and its fireworks show today.
The fireworks display is scheduled to start about 9 p.m. and will be accompanied by synchronized music played by the Oakland East Bay Symphony.
The Pleasanton Police Department is collaborating with numerous agencies to implement the plan. These include the California State Highway Patrol, Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Alameda County Fair, Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority (Wheels buses), Bay Area Rapid Transit and the Pleasanton Unified School District.
"This traffic plan was designed to create a more orderly exit from the fairgrounds on July 4, one that will expedite the flow of traffic and allow emergency vehicles access to the fair if necessary," said Police Chief Dave Spiller.
"Our best advice to those who plan to attend the festivities at the fair on July 4 would be to arrive early to secure parking," he added. "Those who are not planning to attend the fair would do best to avoid the area to avoid congestion."
The plan is extensive and will involve street and freeway exit closures as well as alternative bus routes.
The first component will prohibit parking on neighborhood streets around the fairgrounds today. Then, perhaps as early as 3 p.m., some streets will be closed, including westbound Bernal Avenue from First Street to Valley Avenue. Pleasanton Avenue at Bernal Avenue will also be closed to vehicular traffic.
Later today, access and parking at the fairgrounds main gate will be very limited. Parents are encouraged to accompany their under-age minor children to the fair as drop-off and pick-up in a close location to the fair may not be possible.
Some intersections will only allow traffic in certain directions. For example, eastbound Bernal at Valley Avenues will only allow turns onto southbound Valley Avenue.
Following the fireworks show, fairgoers can still enjoy many of the activities at the fair, such as carnival rides and concessions, which will remain open later in the evening. Traffic exiting the fairgrounds will be directed to the freeways according to specific routes, based upon which gate visitors leave:
-- Gate 12: traffic exits on northbound Valley Avenue to Hopyard Road, to I-580;
-- Gate 8: traffic exits southbound Valley Avenue to westbound Bernal Avenue to I-680 North;
-- Gates 5 & 6: traffic exits eastbound Bernal Avenue to Sunol Boulevard to I-680;
-- Gate 9: traffic exits from Rose Avenue to Fair Street to Division/Hopyard Road to I-580;
-- Downtown: traffic exits northbound Main Street to Santa Rita Road to I-580.
Pleasanton officials also said that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in city parks, and that all fireworks, except for those planned at the County Fair, are prohibited in the city.