Connecting Communities Between East Bay Geographies
(reprinted from Bike East Bay’s Spring 2023 RideOn newsletter – PDF here)
As we celebrated Bike East Bay’s 50th anniversary this past year, there were also some big announcements and transitions. From previous Executive Director Ginger Jui passing the torch and a new shared leadership model to our new Co-Directors Jill Holloway and Justin Hu-Nguyen, to former Advocacy Program leader Dave Campbell handing things over to longtime staff member Robert Prinz, we have been busy building bridges between Bike East Bay’s history and our vision for the future.
Similarly, around the East Bay there are many bicycle bridges in the works to both enhance connectivity between our geographies, as well as reconnect communities that have long been bisected by infrastructure barriers. Read on for info on a few of these, and check out the interactive map above for complete details.
Under construction and estimated to open in 2023, Berkeley’s Gilman Street Bridge over I-80, the Iron Horse Trail Bridge over Dublin Blvd, and the Mokelumne Trail Bridge over Hwy 4 between Antioch and Brentwood have been in the works for many years. Both the Gilman and Mokelumne bridges span major freeways, and the Dublin bridge a wide and imposing surface street, overcoming barriers constructed to serve car traffic at the expense of anyone outside a vehicle.
Of the Dublin Blvd bridge, local advocate Kristi Marleau said: “This bridge will give us a much safer, faster connection between BART and the rest of the Iron Horse Trail. No more waiting for minutes for the light to change, crossing 7 lanes
of traffic, and making awkward turns to get back on the trail at Dublin Blvd.”
We look forward to biking with you to the ribbon cuttings!
Currently in the planning stages, two more bridges that span major barriers include the Richmond Greenway Gap Closure Bridge over train tracks and roadways, and the OaklandAlameda Estuary Bridge across a 1000-foot waterway and busy boating channel. Each of these will be a major engineering challenge, requiring lots of funding and community support. Sign up for the Bike East Bay email newsletter at BikeEastBay.org/enews to know when and how to get involved.
Two existing bridge pathways are celebrating anniversaries this year: The Richmond San-Rafael Bridge path and the Bay Bridge East Span. The Richmond pathway is turning four years old in November, marking the end of a pilot program intended to study the facility’s success. A final report will be available in Summer 2024 with details about the path use and impacts on car traffic, and we will be working hard to make sure that the outcomes maintain full access for people walking or rolling. The Bay Bridge East Span people path opened in September 2013, which means it will be a decade old as of Labor Day this year. We will be celebrating both of these pathways in a major way, and advocating for the continuation of the Bay Bridge path the rest of the way to San Francisco. Be on the lookout for announcements as we get closer to the anniversary dates!
Bike East Bay champions a more connected, accessible Bay Area. Want to support other visionary projects, now and for the future? Become a member or donate today.