Ribbon Cutting Will Open Bike Access to Treasure Island Seven Days a Week
East Bay bike riders who have been wanting to use the Bay Bridge path to connect all the way to the island: now there will be safer access every day of the week.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, May 6 at 11 a.m. to celebrate the official opening of the “Southgate Road Realignment” project.
While some – namely the SF Chronicle – see this as the opening of a better on-and off-ramp from the Bay Bridge freeway onto Treasure Island, what really matters is that bike riders from the East Bay will once again be able to reach Treasure Island. Transit can complete the route into the city until the bike path on the West Span is built. And bike riders coming from San Francisco can take a ferry or bus to Treasure Island and ride the rest of the way into Oakland.
The ribbon cutting will take place at the trail lookout point on Yerba Buena Island – which offers a stunning backdrop of the new bridge and the East Bay hills in the distance. East Bay bike riders can reach the ceremony via the bridge. From San Francisco, Muni Line 25 or the short-hop Treasure Island Ferry can get you to the Treasure Island administration building where you can join an event-specific shuttle to the site. But note that bike-carrying capacity on all those modes is limited.
Official notifications say that, as of Saturday, the bike path will be open “sunrise to sundown,” so 24-hour access has not yet been approved. And there are currently no plans to restart the shuttle that provided weekend connections to Treasure Island for bike riders who didn’t want to subject themselves to the freeway-like conditions on the former, scary route up and around Yerba Buena Island.
Hopefully that shuttle will resume, however, because the new route, while better, is not ideal for all riders and involves some steep hills. There is a protected bike lane on both uphill segments, from the bridge and from the island, and the steepest part coming up from the island includes switchbacks on a separate path. Bikes will share the road with vehicles on the downhill segments, however. That should work for many riders, since they can more easily match the speed of cars, but will still require riders to be confident.
The completion of this project clears the way for another project that will – one day – offer an alternative route on the other side of Yerba Buena Island with more gradual climbs and descents. It is also planned to include, along with bridge replacements, a landing pad for future bike access on the West Span of the bridge, all the way into San Francisco.
Bike East Bay plans to lead a ride to test out the commuter connection all the way to San Francisco – there are ferry and bus connections from Treasure Island, with somewhat limited bike access – on Monday morning.