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Phil Matier: Cycling Advocates Push For Bay Bridge Bike Path Extension

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Bicyclists and pedestrians head westbound along the new Bay Bridge bike path. (CBS)

Bicyclists and pedestrians head westbound along the new Bay Bridge bike path. (CBS)

PhilMatier01-370 Phil Matier
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Bicycling advocates have been dreaming of extending the bike and pedestrian path on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge to the western span. Next month that dream could inch slightly forward to reality.

That’s when transportation officials are expected to release a project study report on the plan to build a hanging bike lane, possibly on both sides of the west span. However, the price tag would be half a billion dollars on top of the engineering complications they anticipate.

When the bike path was first proposed, it started out as a small idea and people thought it would be too costly and impractical. Well, they were right about the cost, but we’ll see if it ends up being practical since now it only goes half way.

One of the most active and tenacious lobbies in the state when it comes to transportation is bicyclists and I’m going to put my money on them getting this done.

These lanes are also being pitched as a congestion reliever, because they can be used by maintenance vehicles instead of coning off the main lanes.

Currently the bike lane doesn’t quite touch down on Treasure Island, but the idea had been to take it fully to San Francisco. If I remember correctly, when this was originally proposed, the price tag was only $25 to $50 million (the bridge itself was only slated to cost $1 billion).

Now everyone’s eyes rolled as soon as they saw the price tag thinking that would mean an increase in the toll, but I don’t consider the cyclists out, and more importantly, neither does Steve Heminger the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

He’s already said that the bike advocates are going to agitate on this bike lane bid and they already are. Gavin Newsom has chimed in too and has already said the extension of the Bay Bridge bike lanes are a wonderful idea.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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