Bay Bridge bike path opens to public

September 3, 2013 7:53:29 PM PDT
A brand new bike and pedestrian path along the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened to the public Tuesday.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was among the first to take advantage of the new path, riding her bike to the opening ceremony.

There are two lanes for bicycles, with one lane for pedestrians. The views, of course, are amazing, but riders should be warned that the path is not for the faint of heart. It is uphill from Oakland to the island.

"It's going to be a pretty hard pedal and it's going to be a pretty stiff walk," MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger said. "The other is, that means that it is downhill from the island to Oakland. And for bikers, especially, we do encourage them to keep their speed down because they're going to be able to go pretty fast just coasting."

The path, as of now, is about a four-mile round trip, but it's hasn't been finished. Eventually, it will go all the way to San Francisco. Once the S-curve gets torn down the bike path will continue to Yerba Buena Island.

Officials are expecting a lot of people will be wanting to check out the new path in the coming days. California Highway Patrol officers will be patrolling the path on bikes.

So how do you get onto the new bike and pedestrian path? There are two entrances -- one is at Shellmound Street in Emeryville, next to the entrance to the Ikea shopping center. The other is in West Oakland, at the corner of Maritime Street and Burma Road. From either entrance, it's nearly two miles to get onto the actual span and then it's another two miles out over the water and to the suspension tower, before you have to turn around and come back. So all in all, it's an eight-mile round trip.

The path is open from sunrise to sunset. There are also a few two-hour parking spots on the north side of Burma Road.

The new bike path is named after Alexander Zuckermann, an 86-year-old man who was an advocate for bicyclists from the East Bay. He was a man who was riding on the Bay Bridge when it was closed for seismic retrofitting at one point. He had an accident and died. His family was at the bridge on Tuesday to honor him.


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