Smooth sailing so far on Bay Bridge's new bike and pedestrian path

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The going has been good for the Bay Bridge's almost two-week-old bicycle and pedestrian path on the new eastern span.

Since its ribbon-cutting the morning after Labor Day, the path has seen thousands of bikers and walkers daily and no major incidents, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Daniel Hill.

“We've had a couple of bicycle collisions that occur when you happen to put bicycles on the roadway together,” he said. “Nothing out of the ordinary, so we're doing well – especially considering it's a bike path to nowhere.”

By nowhere, Hill meant that the path extends from the temporary wooden onramp in the East Bay to just west of the bridge's signature tower. Still, about 3,000 people have used the path from sunrise to sunset on weekdays and 5,000 to 5,500 on weekends. Upticks have occurred after work around 5 p.m. until officers block access between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., depending on light.

“Literally the moment after we say the bike path is clear, the construction crews are out there working, demolishing the S-curve,” Hill said.

Public input helped put the path on the bridge, which previously was accessible only to drivers. But the old span has prevented workers from building permanent sections on both ends.

Construction for the bike path extending all the way to Treasure Island, including a new onramp, is expected by early 2015. The onramp in the East Bay will be completed within six months.

“Strong use of the path” so far has led authorities to add temporary trash cans and restroom facilities along the street-level section of the path leading up to the temporary connector, said Bay Bridge spokesman Andrew Gordon.

No metering has been necessary, even on opening day, since numbers on the path haven't come close to maximum capacity, Hill said. The CHP will not reveal the maximum capacity number, as “we don't want anyone doing the world record,” he said.

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