Golden Gate Bridge divides cyclists, walkers on sidewalk

New painted lines and explanatory signs have been added to the east sidewalk of the Golden Gate Bridge to help ease congestion brought on by the recent closure of the western walkway.

Since May 31, pedestrians and cyclists have complained about the cramped conditions on the eastern sidewalk of the span, which can feature as many as 16,000 visitors on a busy day.

Normally, cyclists have the exclusive right to the west sidewalk during weekends and holidays, but due to construction on that side, the two-wheelers have been forced to compete for space on the east sidewalk with tourists, walkers and other sightseers.

Based on feedback from various bike coalitions, bridge officials laid down eight sections of dotted lines on the east sidewalk, with corresponding signage directing pedestrians and cyclists to stay in opposite lanes. The painted sections, which were completed Tuesday morning, are composed in 30-foot segments, according to bridge spokeswoman Mary Currie.

The signage, which directs pedestrians to stay on the portion of the sidewalk closest to the railing, is intended to be only advisory in nature, but walkers appeared to be heeding the direction on Tuesday, Currie said.

The western sidewalk is projected to be reopened Oct. 1.

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