Cyclists And Walkers Celebrate As Bay Bridge’s Bike And Pedestrian Path Opens

4:34 PM: For the first time, the Bay Bridge is now accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Hours after Bay Area drivers were first allowed to cross the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span on Monday night, dozens of people pedaled and walked on the span’s newly opened bike and pedestrian path this morning.

The path opened to the public around 11:30 a.m. today. Oakland city leaders and transit officials were on hand to dedicate it to the late Oakland city planner and longtime bicycle advocate Alexander Zuckermann.

A green-and-white sign bearing his name was unveiled at the entrance to the path in Oakland as cars whizzed past on the parallel roadway.

Zuckermann founded the East Bay Bicycle Coalition in 1972 and lobbied the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for years to bring greater bike accessibility to Oakland and other parts of the Bay Area.

His two sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughters attended today’s dedication ceremony.

Zuckermann had a “vision of a Bay Area where cycling was accepted as an everyday means of transportation,” his son David told the crowd at the dedication ceremony.

At the ceremony’s end, more than 100 cyclists got a chance to live out that vision and headed out across the new path, which stretches nearly 2 miles west from Oakland.

Bridge spokesman Andrew Gordon said the bike path should be completed by early 2015 and will provide access to Yerba Buena Island.

This morning, many cycling enthusiasts preparing to embark on their first journey across the path said they were eager to take advantage of the unprecedented access.

“I never thought I’d see this happen,” Alamo resident Suzie Telles said.

Another cyclist getting ready to head onto the bridge, Betsy Mathieson, of Alameda, said she bikes to her job in downtown Oakland every day and believes biking is becoming an increasingly important way to protect the environment.

“We don’t need two tons of steel to move our bodies from home to work,” she said.

During the dedication ceremony, Oakland city staffers, Caltrans employees and dozens of Bay Area biking enthusiasts watched a performance by a lion dancing and martial arts group and heard from East Bay mayors Jean Quan, Amy Worth, and Kurt Brinkman, from Oakland, Orinda and Emeryville, respectively.

Information about how to access the new pathway can be found at www.baybridgeinfo.org.

Laura Dixon, Bay City News

12:53 PM: Hours after Bay Area drivers made their way across the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span for the first time on Monday night, dozens of people pedaled and walked on the span’s newly opened bike and pedestrian path this morning.

Oakland city leaders and transit officials were on hand to dedicate the path to late Oakland city planner and longtime bicycle advocate Alexander Zuckermann, for whom the bike path is named.

Related: Bay Bridge Bike And Pedestrian Path (No Skateboards Allowed) To Be Open From Sunrise To Sunset

A green-and-white sign bearing his name was unveiled at the entrance to the path in Oakland as cars whizzed past on the parallel roadway.

Oakland city staffers, Caltrans employees and dozens of Bay Area biking enthusiasts watched a performance by a lion dancing and martial arts group and heard from East Bay mayors Jean Quan, Amy Worth, and Kurt Brinkman, from Oakland, Orinda and Emeryville, respectively.

The speakers touted the importance of the bike accessibility.

Alamo resident Suzie Telles, who was among the cyclists who participated in the inaugural ride, said, “I never thought I’d see this happen.”

The bike and pedestrian path opened to the public at about 11:30 a.m.

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  • withak30

    Is this one of those bike paths that you have to drive to? It is pretty much walled-off by freeways.

  • withak30

    Is this one of those bike paths that you have to drive to? It is pretty much walled-off by freeways.