A cyclist’s dream for a more than a decade, Bay Area Toll Authority officials released several designs for a bike and pedestrian path on the western span of the Bay Bridge. But bike advocates may have to wait another decade for one of the six Arup designs to get built. In question is where the 2.9-mile route from Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco will connect to the city. Options include a downtown site on Essex Street (adjacent to Pelli Clarke Pelli’s Transbay Terminal), along the Embarcadero, and a repurposed Caltrans paint yard.
Arup’s schemes are infrastructurally intoxicating: spiraling ramps loop skyward 150 feet into the bridge girders. Yet getting the design to fruition is tricky: Not only is there a $300 million ceiling, Arup needs to figure out how to connect the 15-foot wide path to the old steel without any welding. This means dissembling parts of the bridge and adding new bolts and steel plates. With Bay Area traffic ever increasing, estimates predict 10,000 bicyclists per day riding path from SF to Oakland and a spectacular 45-minute commute.