Bike East Bay successfully pushed back against Marin transportation officials who threatened to limit your weekday access to a planned biking and walking path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Marin officials want to turn the soon-to-open bike path on the bridge into a car lane during commute hours, when bike commuters most need the path. It’s not happening.
Our letter to the Bay Area Toll Authority reiterated that major commute corridors need multimodal options, including transit, carpooling, and bicycling. We will continue to ensure the bicycle and pedestrian path is accessible at all hours, seven days a week for walking and biking.
After two decades of advocacy, Bike East Bay together with many of our partners won support in 2013 for a biking and walking path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and finished plans for the path in 2016. The path is expected to open in late fall or early 2019 and will be evaluated over four years as part of a pilot project to gauge its popularity.
Marin officials are asking that the barriers be removed during rush hour, turning the bike path into a westbound car lane in order to ease congestion. However, an additional lane is unlikely to provide congestion relief.
Short term, the toll plaza in Richmond will continue to be a traffic bottleneck. In the big picture, more workers are crossing the bridge because they can’t afford to live in Marin County. Whether there are two or three car lanes on the bridge, congestion will continue to grow if Marin County doesn’t address its woeful lack of affordable housing.
Bike East Bay has helped reshape regional transportation goals to no longer prioritize moving more people in cars as fast as possible. More traffic lanes incentivize more driving, which means more air pollution, dangerous local street conditions, and a poorer quality of life for communities—especially for Black and Brown communities in Richmond—living near freeways feeding the bridge.
Bike East Bay calls on the Bay Area Toll Authority to stand firm in its commitment to multimodal travel and challenges Marin to address its jobs-housing balance. We look forward to riding the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge with our members and supporters in the near future.
Read about the hullabaloo in the news
2018/01/24/marin-officials- mull-richmond-san-rafael- bridge-upper-deck-lane/
bayarea/article/Richmond-San- Rafael-Bridge-to-get-new- traffic-lane-12530688.php
2018/02/05/marin-ij-editors- join-push-to-abort-bridge- bike-and-pedestrian-path/
2018/02/06/san-rafael- richmond-bridge-eastbound- lane/