Gateway Park Plans Unveiled November 14

Gateway Park will be a new expansive park at the touchdown of the Oakland Span of the Bay Bridge, providing shoreline access, great views of the Port of Oakland, a new transportation museum, and amenities like water and bathrooms for those traveling the new Bay Bridge bike path. Sign our petition to the right to keep updated on this project and our campaign to complete shore-to-shore bike access from Oakland to San Francisco across the Bay Bridge.

The public scoping meeting for Gateway Park was on 
Thursday, November 14 2013 at the West Oakland Senior Center, 1724 Adeline Street. 

Bicycle Improvements in Gateway Park:

Gateway Park will include a new elevated bike/ped bridge along the Grand Ave corridor, connecting the existing bike path along Burma Road to Mandela Parkway. Yes, this will be a long bridge, and it will connect West Oakland to Gateway Park and provide great access to the Bay Bridge bike path. The proposed elevated bike bridge is funded and will be one of the first projects built as part of Gateway Park—thanks to the support of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), who heard the calls of many Bike East Bay members to provide a good connection from West Oakland. This is great news!

Scope of Gateway Park:

Gateway Park is proposed near the east touchdown of the Bay Bridge in Oakland, Alameda County. The new regional park would encompass 170 acres and include various parcels from the waterfront near the Bay Bridge touchdown to Mandela Parkway in West Oakland. The park would be located largely within an area designated in the San Francisco Bay Plan as a Waterfront Park Priority Use Area. Existing public access at the site includes an informal windsurfing area at Radio Beach and a new bicycle/pedestrian trail leading to and onto the new east span of the Bay Bridge.

Much of the project site was filled in the 1940s to create the former Oakland Army Base, a major distribution and transportation port facility, which the Department of the Army closed and transferred to the Oakland Redevelopment Agency and the Port of Oakland in 1999. The Key Rail System also operated a substation here to provide electrical power to trains servicing the ferry at this location. Later the Key Rail System operated on the lower deck of the Bay Bridge from 1936 until 1958, when the rail system ceased operations and the bridge served only motor vehicles. Today, the surrounding area is largely industrial and includes property owned and operated by the City of Oakland, East Bay Municipal Utility District, the Port of Oakland, the California Department of Transportation, and the Burlington Northern &Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroad Companies. The protected Emeryville Crescent State Marine Preserve lies northeast of the proposed park.

Proposed Project and Public Access. For many years, it has been envisioned that Gateway Park would be a regional park operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. Discussion is ongoing to confirm and formalize the governance structure and may require the formation of a Joint Powers Authority. Gateway Park would provide access to the shoreline, enhance bicycle and pedestrian connections to the new east span of the Bay Bridge and other local trails, include active and passive recreation opportunities, and highlight the natural, industrial, maritime, and transportation history of the area.

6 Distinct Areas of Gateway Park:

  1. The Link: A new, elevated bicycle/pedestrian trail would connect bicycle routes within West Oakland to trails in the park. The proposed trail lies beyond the Commission’s Bay and shoreline band jurisdictions, but falls partially within an area designated in the San Francisco Bay Plan as a Port Priority Use Area.
  2. Bridge Yard: The Bridge Yard would provide a flexible space for a variety of park activities and programs. The Interurban Electric Railway Bridge Yard Shop (also known as IERBYS and the Sawtooth Building) has the potential to be repurposed for art displays, recreational activities, and/or events. This area of the park would feature historic trains and include an arrival area, a parking lot, and an outdoor event space accommodating up to 1,700 people. The Bridge Yard is beyond the Commission’s Bay and shoreline band jurisdictions.
  3. Wind Break (The Lungs): This area refers to new tree plantings proposed within the park and adjacent to I-80 to diffuse vehicular air emissions. Plantings may include a variety of trees including 40- to 60-foot-tall evergreen trees, trees with rapid leaf regeneration, and understory plantings.
  4. Port Playground: The Port Playground is intended as a destination for active and passive recreation along the shoreline. It includes a new visitor’s center, play areas, active and/or extreme sports areas, kayak launch and storage, a beach, and a trail with picnic and observation areas.
  5. Key Point: Bicycle and pedestrian traffic from the Bay Bridge would connect to the park at Key Point. This area would emphasize the natural and transportation history of the site, including the historic Key Rail System. Three existing structures have the potential to be repurposed as a café, art space, and a ranger station. At the western end of the point, tide pools would be created using concrete rings.
  6. The Pier: An approximately 300-foot-long pier would extend west into the Bay along the alignment of the old Bay Bridge. The applicant is considering either repurposing a section of the old east span of the Bay Bridge (also known as “the 288”) for public access purposes or constructing a new concrete pier for this purpose.
  7. Radio Beach: A new trail would extend from Key Point under the new Bay Bridge to the northern end of Radio Beach on the north side of I-80. Bay fill would be required to accommodate the new trail. The design of the trail is under study and may consist of a sheetpile wall, riprap, or a gently sloped shoreline.

The map here shows in dashed blue lines the alignment of the planned elevated bike/ped pathway connecting West Oakland with Gateway Park.

June 2010 Update:

The “world class” Alex Zuckermann bikeway on the new East Span of the Bay Bridge will continue through the touchdown at Gateway Park to connections with the bikeway network at 40th and Shellmound in Emeryville, and with West Oakland. Tell MTC which design you like best!. Three exciting new design concepts are being considered for theGateway Park Project. Learn more about each of the concepts and then take MTC’s survey.At the second public workshop on June 2, three concepts were presented to explore a wide range of options for the site — from a quiet, natural setting focused on returning the site to its bayfront beauty, to a rich park experience that could offer features such as a gondola ride, kayak landing, trails, fishing pier, art, museum, and a destination restaurant.The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) asked the community to tell it what is liked about each concept. In the next step, MTC will try to fit the favorite elements into a plan. This is more complex than fitting puzzle pieces together since some uses just don’t fit well side by side — no dogs romping through a wetlands preserve or freeway-bound cars passing by a playground. MTC will listen to your preferences and shape a new plan that we hope fits the desired character for the park and delivers features important to the community. Three Concepts:

The park concepts are designed to explore how best to nurture a natural setting, serve the area workers and West Oakland, and enhance the Bay Trail and Bay Bridge pedestrian and bicycle experience. Among the possibilities: Concept 1: Relax and Regenerate would restore the industrial area to its natural beauty and generate new wetland areas Concept 2: Getting There would create trails linking all of Oakland to the park and the future Bay Bridge bike and pedestrian experience Concept 3: Great Destinations would offer a variety of ways to have fun at the park such as a Ferris wheel, gondola, art, or a destination restaurant All three maps are divided into named areas that read from left to right: The Point, Baywalk/Bike Access, Boardwalk, The Green, Entrance/Park Road, and The Maze/West Oakland. This helped workshop participants to follow along more easily as the concepts were discussed. Learn more about each of the concepts and then take MTC’s survey.

Bay Bridge