‘UTV’ purchased for new Richmond San Rafael Bridge bike/ped path

Photo courtesy of City of Richmond

The opening of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge bicycle/pedestrian path is tentatively slated for Nov. 16.

And in anticipation, the Bay Area Toll Authority, in cooperation with Caltrans, purchased “Utility 61,” or “U61,” for the Richmond Fire Department.

The utility task vehicle (UTV) will be used to transport patients for emergency responses on the new pedestrian/bike path. A vehicle orientation commenced last week, according to the Richmond City Manager’s weekly report.

The westbound bike and pedestrian path will be separated from traffic by a moveable barrier similar to one being used on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Critics of the the $20 million project believe there should be a third westbound vehicular lane due to traffic congestion, rather than a bike and pedestrian lane. Recently, a third eastbound lane was opened during peak commute hours to ease traffic congestion.

The bike-pedestrian lane will be trialed for four years, officials said. It will be the first such connection between the Marin County and the East Bay, MTC said.