Community Events

Fort Bragg Police Revise July 4th Celebration Parking and Public Regulations to Optimize Safety

The following is a press release issued by the Fort Bragg Police Department

[Picture provided by Fort Bragg resident Judy Valadao]

The City of Fort Bragg and the Fort Bragg Police Department are excited for the 2021 4th of July Celebration Fireworks Display scheduled for Saturday, July 3, 2021. Over the last several years, this event has dramatically increased in size with attendees viewing the fireworks display and enjoying time with friends and family at various locations surrounding Noyo Beach. The increase in attendance combined with the Police Department’s current staffing levels have caused the Department to adjust their approach to policing this event.

For this year’s celebration, Police Officers will be deployed directly on Noyo Beach and in the surrounding areas in order to enforce Local, County and State laws; specifically those laws related to fireworks, the over-consumption of alcohol, and open fires. Individuals observed committing criminal acts will be cited/arrested, and ejected from the event. Additionally, the common viewing areas for the fireworks display including Pomo Bluffs Park, Noyo Beach, and the South Coastal Trail (Noyo Headlands Trail), are considered City parks and are subject to additional local statutes.

In past years, parking in the areas surrounding the event has caused issues for property owners, law enforcement, and emergency personnel. As in year’s past, the Pomo Bluffs parking lot and South Coastal Trail parking lot will remain open for vehicles displaying disabled parking placards. Recreation vehicles, oversized vehicles, and vehicles with trailers will be prohibited regardless of whether they possess disabled placards or plates. Signage will be posted prior to the event, and vehicles found without placards/plates at the start of the event will receive parking citations with a fine of $285.00 for violation of 22507.8 CVC.

Public parking along Ocean View Drive and the various north/south roadways off Ocean View Drive will be prohibited. These roadways were not designed for public parking, and need to remain open for law enforcement and emergency personnel response. Residents/guests who live along these roadways should ensure that any visitors are legally parked entirely on the residence’s private property. Signage notifying the public of no parking/tow away will be posted on each of these roadways prior to the event. Any vehicle’s found illegally parked in these areas will be subject to parking citations and being towed.

Paid parking will be offered on the runway at the South Coastal Trail using the W. Cypress Street entrance. Fees from the South Coastal Trail paid parking will be directly applied to offsetting the costs of the Fireworks Display. The paid parking lot traditionally located east of the Mendocino College will not be operated this year. All visitors to the event are encouraged to carpool, walk, bike or utilize public transportation to minimize traffic surrounding the event.

An additional parking restriction has been added this year in the form of a tow away zone along the north side of the roadway of N. Harbor Drive below the Harbor Lite Lodge. This area represents a fire hazard and restricts emergency vehicle access.

At the conclusion of the event, the 100 Blocks of N. Harbor Drive and South Street will be fenced off and shut down to all traffic. The surrounding hotels will have limited vehicle access to their parking lots for approximately 45 minutes. These two road closures are intended to reduce congestion and encourage motorists from the Noyo Harbor area to enter S. Main Street from the traffic light controlled intersections of Cypress Street and Chestnut Street.

Additionally, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and out of pedestrian safety concerns, individuals will not be able to set-up chairs or otherwise block the pedestrian access along the Noyo Bridge walkways.

Following the event, the Fort Bragg Police Department will be partnering with the California Highway Patrol to conduct traffic enforcement and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) enforcement. The goal is to ensure a safe drive home for all motorists leaving the event.

Concerns or questions regarding this year’s event may be forwarded to Captain O’Neal at (707) 961-2800 ext. 120 or to toneal@fortbragg.com .

Categories: Community Events, News

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