Community Notebook: Available services and closures on Independence Day in the Palo Alto area

Transportation services to accommodate for public firework displays

With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, here is a roundup of city government and transportation services available in and around Palo Alto during the holiday this Thursday, in addition to some safety tips for the public.

City Government Services

Palo Alto City Library: All library branches will be closed on Independence Day and reopen on Friday, July 5.

City of Palo Alto: All administrative offices will be closed on Independence Day and resume regular hours on Friday, July 5. Waste collection, including recycling, compost and garbage collection services, will operate on a normal schedule.

Palo Alto emergency services: There will be a collection of city staff, consisting of personnel from the Palo Alto Police and Fire Departments, Office of Emergency Services, park rangers from Palo Alto Open Space and Emergency Services Volunteers, who will be on duty. Call the city's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413 to report suspicious behavior and use of illegal fireworks.

Waste collection: Recycling, garbage and compost collection services will remain the same for the week of July 4.

Courthouse: The Santa Clara County Superior Court will be closed on Independence Day and reopen on Friday, July 5.

Postal Service: Post offices nationwide will be closed in observance of Independence Day.

Transportation Services

Palo Alto Shuttle, Stanford Marguerite's Line U and Dumbarton Express: There will be no service on Independence Day.

Stanford Marguerite: The Hospital Direct, Medical Center, Medical Center: Holiday and Shopping Express: Special shuttles will be will be in service on Independence Day. More information is available at

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency: On Independence Day, bus and light- rail service will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. More information is available at

Caltrain: Caltrain will be operating on a holiday schedule on Thursday, July 4. Caltrain will also provide an extra post-San Francisco fireworks service. The last train will depart San Francisco at 12:05 a.m. More information is posted at

SamTrans: SamTrans will operate the on its Sunday schedule on Independence Day. More information is available at

Tips for the public

Fireworks: The use of fireworks is illegal in Santa Clara County. Children should not play with fireworks and sparklers. The county recommends people to celebrate by attending public fireworks displays conducted by professionals.

Freeways: The California Highway Patrol's Maximum Enforcement Period will be in effect from 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. In a statement, CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley reminded people to drive sober and to fasten their seat belts. If drinking, Stanley urged people to have a plan, whether it be designating a sober driver or using a ride-sharing service.

Pets: The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA advises pet owners to take some precautions for the Fourth of July holiday, such as keeping pets indoors and away from firework displays. The Palo Alto Humane Society recommends pet owners lower their blinds and turn on the television or play soothing music during fireworks displays. If an animal appears to be anxious, a soothing voice could help them relax. In addition, pet owners should avoid feeding their animals scraps from the grill, which can result in an upset stomach. Certain foods such as onions, avocados and grapes can be toxic.

Looking for ways to celebrate the Fourth of July on the Midpeninsula? Read our guide of fun and festive local events here.


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Su Hong Palo Alto's last day of business will be Sept. 29
By Elena Kadvany | 18 comments | 5,616 views

Premarital, Women Over 50 Do Get Married
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,717 views

Natural Wines?
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 1,556 views

Electric Buses: A case study
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,551 views

Stay a part of their day
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 586 views


Register now!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

More Info