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(photo by Cian Dawson)

The new Bay Trail path around the back of Golden Gate Fields race track in Albany is open, and it makes for a sweet new ride. The East Bay Regional Park District has done a superb job in designing and building the facility, providing ADA accessibility, viewing areas, and access to the Albany beach area and amenities.

Now, instead of cutting (and climbing) through the race track parking lot, you can enjoy eight uninterrupted miles of Bay shoreline from Emeryville to the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond. Please share your photos and videos on social media: #baytrail, @BikeEastBay.

Bonnie Lewkowicz with the Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) says between the views and closing the gap on the Bay Trail, it’s opened up a ride that many more people can do. The BORP office, located not far from the new trail at Berkeley’s Aquatic Park, has the country‚Äôs largest and most diverse collection of cycles for use by people with physical disabilities. Bonnie tackled the old trail just once with a tandem partner, who ended up pushing the duo through the uphill parking lot. The new protected, less-steep path is a big win. Bonnie maintains a list of accessible trails throughout Northern California and is excited to add the new path to the list, with hope for a smoother trail connection in the future at Gilman Street.

Ten Years in the Making

In 2010 with our support, East Bay Regional Parks District applied for and received a $10.2 million Federal TIGER Grant, the first of its kind in Northern California. The TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants were awarded to build this project and six others in the East Bay. Here is our blog piece from way back, and a time-lapse video of the ride today. 

The first project constructed with the grant was the East Bay Greenway segment from 75th Ave. to 85th Ave. in East Oakland. Soon thereafter, the Iron Horse Trail segment south of Dublin/Pleasanton BART opened, then the car-free Carquinez Scenic Drive, followed more recently by the Bay Trail segment in Hercules. The final two projects are a bike/ped bridge over State Route 4 in Brentwood, which is designed and funded, and the Bay Trail in Union City. 

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