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Richmond San Rafael Bridge

RSR Bridge Riders Turn Out in Force to Celebrate Bike Path

And they demand an end to the car-brained, disingenuous arguments from people who want the lane removed and the entire bridge turned over to cars

A cyclist celebrating his ride over the crest of the bridge during Saturday’s massive anniversary ride. Photo: Warren Wells

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Around a 1,000 cyclists were counted crossing the Richmond-San Rafael bridge Saturday afternoon to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the installation of a protected bikeway on its upper deck and to defend against its removal.

"Per the RSR Bridge counter there were 1,367 bike trips counted, which is 900 more than the previous Saturday," wrote Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz. "If everyone biked over and back that would mean about 450 people total."

For some time, advocates at Rich City Rides were organizing the ride, getting people out there for the anniversary and to protest efforts by the Bay Area Council, Assemblymember Damon Connolly, and others to torpedo the bike lane and make all of the six lanes on the bridge for cars.

The huge turnout was a testament to how much people want, and need, that path. Prinz estimates the turnout was even higher than the electronic counter on the bridge indicated. "One of the people playing with the brass band that set up on the shoulder to the bridge path entrance did a manual count of everyone who biked by," explained Prinz, adding that the visually counted numbers were much higher. "This discrepancy might reveal how the tech on the bridge is undercounting users significantly, as we know that cameras and loop detectors have trouble distinguishing exact numbers when multiple bikes are passing through, which is probably the case for many of the bridge trips since 2019."

Either way, Prinz reminded Streetsblog that during the recent hearing at the MTC about the bridge there was an over three-to-one ratio of comments/letters in favor of keeping the pathway. "This is proof that there is a large and diverse community which values the facility, and which understands that we need better solutions than throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at freeway widenings that we know will just lock in the status quo and exacerbate existing harms."

One of the band members did an informal count of passing cyclists. Photo: Robert Prinz

Be sure to sign Rich City Rides's petition to preserve the bridge trail. As of publishing, it was only 40 short of its 5,000-signature goal.

More pictures of the ride below:

Now that's a big ride. Photo: Warren Wells
Another look at the ride. Photo: Warren Wells
On one of the approaches. Photo: Waren Wells
One of the waves of cyclists pausing at the Rosie the Riveter Museum. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
Just one of several groups on the approach to the bridge near Point Richmond. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
As Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz pointed out, the bike counters don't get everybody (or every dog). Photo: Robert Prinz

Special thanks to Robert Prinz of Bike East Bay, Warren Wells of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, and of course Najari Smith of Rich City Rides for making the whole ride happen!

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