Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike-ped trail opens Saturday

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Rendering of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike and pedestrian path courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Starting Saturday, you’ll be able to walk or bike across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The 6-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting Contra Costa and Marin counties will open at 10 a.m.

The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting celebration for the trail at 10 a.m. at 961 Stenmark Drive, just off the bike/pedestrian trail at Point Molate.

The local cycling advocacy group, Rich City Rides, is inviting the public to a group ride that will meet at Unity Park on the Richmond Greenway at 9 a.m. (ride begins at 9:30 a.m.). The group plans to ride across the bridge when it officially opens.

The $20 million trail project is part of the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail. It features a moveable barrier on the upper deck of the bridge that separates cyclists and pedestrians from auto traffic.

Photo of new trail providing access to the Richmond-San Rafael bike and pedestrian path courtesy of the Trails for Richmond Action Committee.

The project also includes new access from Point Richmond. A new 10-food wide, two-way, multi-use Bay Trail section has been constructed between Castro and Marine streets on the southern side of Interstate 580, crossing under I-580 at Marine St., continuing to Stenmark Drive on the north side of the freeway, and crossing the bridge to East Francisco Boulevard in San Rafael, according to Bruce Beyaert, chair of the Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC).

“The 4.4-mile route across the bridge itself provides a pedestrian and bicyclist connection between the East Bay and North Bay and marks the sixth Bay Area bridge with the Bay Trail completed,” Beyaert said, adding that only the Bay Bridge west span and San Mateo Bridge now lack a Bay Trail crossing.

As part of the project, Chevron provided access to its land for construction of parts of the trail between Stenmark Drive and the bridge.  In addition, Chevron has granted an easement along more than a mile of shoreline for the future construction of 2.5 miles of additional Bay Trail spanning from I-580 to the  Pt. Molate Beach Park.

Photo of new trails sign providing access to the Richmond-San Rafael bike and pedestrian path courtesy of the Trails for Richmond Action Committee.

12 COMMENTS

    • This was my exact thought when I saw the barrier. So where do cars go when there is an accident or a break down on the bridge? Did anyone consider that before building this barrier? Seems pretty obvious to me. smh

  1. Absolutely ridiculous that we are spending so much money on a bike lane when we desperately need a third vehicle lane! Traffic getting on the bridge is out of control and nothing is being done for us commuters who are wasting hours everyday sitting in it.

    • Adding more vehicle lanes has and will never decrease congestion. It’s called the law of induced demand. Creating alternative options and disincentivizing private car travel are the only proven ways to reduce traffic.

      • I have to agree. The Richmond Bridge “backup” was only four or five cars long—until the Richmond Parkway was opened to ease the commute between 1–80 and the bridge. Within a very few months, the backup went from almost nothing to what it is now. More lanes will simply encourage more cars.

  2. Good step forward. Next – turn the north lane of the western span of the Bay Bridge up to the first SF exit into a bi-directional bike and e-bike lane.

  3. I think it is GREAT and a long time coming. Cars and car commuters are NOT the only ones with rights to transportation options crossing the bay. All the “lame” responses are behind the times or over-priviledged or both.

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