Bridges

Antioch Bridge

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Antioch Bridge

 

STATUS:  Unlimited non-motorized access on a bike lane adjacent to the vehicle travel lane.

 

The original structure was completed in January of 1926, and then replaced in 1978; the new structure offering cyclists access to both of the five-foot shoulders.  Connecting State Route 160 between Antioch in Contra Costa County, and Sherman Island in Sacramento County, the Antioch Bridge provides unlimited non-motorized access.

  

 

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

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STATUS:  No bicycle or pedestrian access.

 

Connecting Interstate 580 between Contra Costa and Marin Counties, the 5.5 mile long bridge is not accessible to bicyclists or pedestrians.  Since its completion in 1956, the Richmond San Rafael Bridge has been an important route for North Bay travelers, but direct access has been denied to non-motorized traffic.  Bicycle advocates have struggled for the past 50 years to obtain access on this bridge.  Two Statewide studies indicate direct access would be reasonably safe, feasible, and affordable, and a third study has been underway since 2003.  Bicyclists had previously proposed use of the 12 foot shoulder for public access, but Caltrans is currently studying the possibility of using that shoulder as a third lane for automobile access.  Caltrans has also determined that any public access must be provided with a solid barrier. 

 

It is expected that proposal for public access will come before MTC and BCDC at the end of 2007 or early in 2008.  For the latest news on bike access, go to the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) website or contact Deb Hubsmith, MCBC Advocacy Director, to support current actions for bridge access:  deb AT marinbike DOT org or call at 415-454-7430.

Golden Gate Bridge

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 STATUS:  Twenty-four hour direct access.

 

The only Bay Area Bridge not owned by the state, the Golden Gate Bridge falls under the jurisdiction of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District: http://www.goldengate.org

 

While cyclists today can enjoy direct access, twenty-four hours a day to the Golden Gate Bridge, this availability has only existed since November 23, 1992.  When the bridge was opened in 1937, only pedestrians were allowed on the sidewalks.  Thirty-four years later, cyclists were granted access during weekdays on the East sidewalk, and on the West during the weekend.  Efforts from bicycle advocates led to the November 1992 opening of the bridge to cyclists 24 hours a day.  Check out http://www.goldengatebridge.org/bikesbridge/bikes.html for an explanation of how to use the remotely controlled security gates on the bridge after 9pm and before dawn.

 

In November of 2003, an eleven-month installation process of a public safety railing was completed on the Golden Gate Bridge.  The railing protects the pathway from motor vehicle traffic.  While the Golden Gate Bridge is a huge tourist attraction, it is also a major transportation route for cyclists; the installation of this barrier represents a major safety improvement. 

 

Thanks to public comment over the past few years, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District’s proposal for a $1 bicycle and pedestrian toll has not been enacted.  But this doesn’t rule out future attempts from the GGBHTD to gain money through a bike/pedestrian toll. If any such proposals are discussed in the future, BABC will continue to work with local coalitions to fight a proposed toll.

Hancock Introduces Bill to Allow Toll Funds for Bay Bridge Bike Path (SF Streetsblog)

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State Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) has introduced a bill in the Legislature that would allow the Bay Area Toll Authority to use toll revenue to help fund a bike path on the West Span of the Bay Bridge. Advocates on both sides of the Bay worked with Hancock on the legislation, according to Marc Caswell, the program manager for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

We would like to thank State Senator Loni Hancock for introducing this bill, which will pave the way towards the construction of this critical pathway to allow bicycles and pedestrians to cross the bay and provide a safe refuge for motorists and maintenance personnel. We would also like to thank Mayor Tom Bates for his support of the legislative inquiry that made this bill possible. And finally all the bicycle advocates who wrote letters and came out to MTC meetings to support this project. We're one step closer to Bridging the Gap! Read more...

BABC Early Advocates to Build Benicia-Martinez Bridge Bicycle Path

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The 2.2 mile bike path on the southbound George Miller Jr Bridge opened August 29th 2009. It is part of a $50,000,000 seismic retrofit and now makes the 290 mile Bay Trail that much closer to ringing the Bay. The path is a 12-foot-wide bidirectional lane separated from vehicular traffic by a concrete barrier, open 24 hours a day.

Founder of the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, Alex Zuckermann was influential in ensuring the addition of this bicycle and pedestrian path.

 

Bridge Opening: Ina Gerhard, Caltrans Dist 4 Bicycle Coordinator; Bijan Sartipi, Caltrains Dist 4 Director; Robert Raburn, EBBC Director; Andrew Casteel, BABC Director; Dave Campbell, EBBC Board Chair

During a meeting in Oakland in 1988, Caltrans came before The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to obtain a permit to build the new span. Alex gave an excellent speech asking BCDC to make installation of a bike path on the new bridge a condition of granting the permit. BCDC agreed and made the path a condition of putting up the span.

The pedestrian/bicycle path will close a gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail while also linking the San Francisco Bay Trail with the Bay Area Ridge Trail that encircles the bays at the ridgeline (the two trails share an alignment along the bridge). This lane also links the Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail, which is a 50-mile trail that crosses both the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and the Al Zampa span of the Carquinez Bridge. The eventual goal is to encircle San Francisco and San Pablo bays with 500 miles of uninterrupted biking and hiking trails. Read more...

Bicycle Bridge Access

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What would it feel like to be riding across the Bay Bridge on your bike?   With a pathway beneath your wheels, and a view of the Bay and the City skyline below, there would be no better way to cross the Bay.

 

Unfortunately, the reality is that the Bay Bridge prohibits bicycles and pedestrians, so only those risking arrest know how it feels to bike across the bridge.  Five of the nine other bridges in the Bay can also only be crossed by those using motorized vehicles.

 

The Bay Area Bicycle Coalition is advocating for all of the Bay Area bridges to be open to non-motorized traffic, as they are to motorized traffic, 24 hours a day.  Bike access plans have already been found feasible for the West span of the Bay Bridge, and the Richmond- San Rafael Bridge.  We need your support for funding the construction of pathways on these and other bridges.

 

Our goal is to secure direct access on all of the Bay Area’s bridges.  But in the meantime, access over the bridges can be obtained by public transportation. You can locate information at http://bicycling.511.org/bridges.htm

 

For a list of the eight Bay Area Bridges, the current status of bicycle access for each crossing, and who you can contact to support advocacy efforts relating to the bridges, click here.

 

For more information on Bay Bridge bicycle access:

 

SF Chronicle article Our Own Bridge to Nowhere

SF Streetsblog article Hancock Introduces Bill to Allow Toll Funds for Bay Bridge Bike Path

SF Bicycle Coalition's Bay Bridge info page 

East Bay Bicycle Coalition's Bay Bridge info page

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