Hey Caltrans: Open the Bay Bridge for Bikes

Three and a half years opening the East Span of the Bay Bridge to drivers, Caltrans still will not give a date for when the bicycle and pedestrian path will open on weekdays. Caltrans needs to hear from you, the public, that the path has been closed for too long. Please take a moment to write an email to Caltrans asking them to open the bike/ped path by Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

What You Can Do

  • Send an email to Dan McElhinney, Caltrans Deputy District Director, at dan.mcelhinney@dot.ca.gov. Tell Caltrans to open the East Span Bike Path by Bike to Work Day, May 11, 2017. See the talking points below and please cc Dave Campbell, Advocacy Director, Dave@BikeEastBay.org.


Dear Deputy District Director McElhinney,

I am writing to ask you to prioritize bike access on the East Span of the Bay Bridge. While the Bay Bridge has been open to drivers 24/7 for the past three and a half years, the bicycle and pedestrian path remains closed for use on weekdays. Please open the path on weekdays by Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

  • While I understand that demolition on the old Bay Bridge may impact bicyclists and pedestrians, this hazard will be mitigated when the superstructure trusses are removed this April. After that, the bike path should remain open during weekday construction because these activities will take place below the level of the new bridge.

  • Instead of closing the path indefinitely, Caltrans should give advance notice and post flaggers when demolition is taking place.

  • Caltrans should err on the side of keeping public facilities like the bicycle and pedestrian path open for public use, as Caltrans would do for construction that impacts other roadways.

Background Information

Bike East Bay has been advocating for bike access on the Bay Bridge for decades. When the path was completed to Yerba Buena Island last October, Caltrans told Bike East Bay the path could be open on weekdays by March 2017. Now, Caltrans says July or later.

According to Caltrans, sparks and fumes created during demolition of the old bridge may impact people using the path. However, Bike East Bay believes they should mitigate this impact for people who walk and bike, rather than closing the path indefinitely.

We believe that the bike path should open by the end of April. This is when Caltrans will finish removing the superstructure trusses on the old Bay Bridge. After that, only the columns and foundations of the old bridge will remain. Because these are located far beneath the level of the bike/ped path, we believe there will be no reason to keep the path closed even as construction continues.

Thank you for taking action and asking Caltrans to open the bike/ped path by Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Bay Bridge