Starting today, the bike path on the East Span of the Bay Bridge is finally open seven days a week. It's the last milestone for a construction project that began eight years ago.
The path has two lanes for bicycles, and one lane for pedestrians, wheelchairs and strollers.
It begins at Shellmound Street in Emeryville. You pass acres of wetlands restoration projects, and you get unparalleled views of the East Bay’s waste treatment plant.
Once you link up with the bridge, it's two miles of slow and steady incline with your face against the wind.
The path has been open since 2013, but access has been spotty. At first, the path stopped just short of Yerba Buena Island. A segment of the old bridge stood in the way, and it had to be dismantled.
After the path was connected to the island last October, it was still closed during weekdays. The old bridge was being taken apart, and Caltrans didn’t want you that close to a demolition site.
The last span of the bridge floated away in March. As of today, the path is open every day of the week.
The ride back is the perfect downhill grade. It feels like flying. The pavement is smooth, you don't have to pedal, and you barely have to brake.
The path is officially named after Alex Zuckerman, who founded the East Bay Bike Coalition (now Bike East Bay). The group campaigned for this path for decades.
Now, Bike East Bay and other groups are pushing to build a bike bridge along the West Span. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is studying potential designs.