Effort underway to make bridge bike-ped path permanent

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Photo credit: Metropolitan Transportation Commission

By Kathy Chouteau

An upcoming online Bay Trail Confidential event will discuss efforts to make access to the Richmond San Rafael Bicycle and Pedestrian Path permanent. Set for Wed., May 5 from 7:30-8:30 p.m., the free event is hosted by Rodney SF Tours and will feature guests Dave Campbell of Bike East Bay and Warren Wells of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition to discuss pro-path advocacy efforts currently afoot.

Opened in November 2019, the six mile path spans the Richmond San Rafael Bridge and can be accessed on the Richmond side at Tewksbury Avenue and Castro Street in Point Richmond. It then runs along I-580 West across the bay to San Rafael, where it can be accessed at East Francisco Boulevard and Main Street. To aid in the completion of the project, Chevron Richmond permitted the path to extend across its land. The $20 million path project is part of the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail and features a moveable barrier on the upper deck of the bridge that separates cyclists and pedestrians from auto traffic.

While the opening of the path was met with great enthusiasm at a 2019 ribbon-cutting event, some critics on social media, including the Everybody’s Richmond California Facebook page, complain that the path has led to traffic congestion and longer commute times for drivers.

According to Rodney SF Tours, more than 100,000 people enjoyed using the path last year, however, Caltrans considers it a temporary, four-year trial and may eventually remove the path to provide an additional lane for vehicles.

Aside from path advocacy efforts, the Bay Trail Confidential event will include info on “some terrific hikes and rides the bridge allows us to enjoy” as well as “top locations on the trail we hope you’ll be inspired to visit,” according to Rodney SF Tours.

Click here for more info or to register for the Bay Trail Confidential event.

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