SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Sunday was the day bikes and pedestrians on the Bay Bridge could finally reach all the way to Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands.
It seemed like a big day, but one wouldn’t know it from the opening festivities, there weren’t any. The first bicycle reached the islands without any of the usual Caltrans fanfare.READ MORE: 'Highway Slingshot Shooter' Fires Ball Bearings at Windows Along San Jose's Guadalupe Freeway
Completing the path took 20 years of planning and cost untold millions of dollars. It was supposed to open at noon, but Caltrans unlocked the gates 30 minutes early.
“We figured when it’s ready to open, just open it…don’t make people wait,” Caltrans spokesperson Bob Haus told KPIX 5.
The cyclists who fought so hard to include the path didn’t seem to mind the lack of ceremony.
“It’s kind of like Christmas morning. You just want to go open the presents and see what’s there and see what it’s like and start playing with it. It’s kind of that feeling.” said Dave Campbell, advocacy director of Bike East Bay.READ MORE: 3 East Bay School Districts Go All-In on Student Vaccine Mandates
The 4½ mile path offers panoramic views of the Bay and the Port of Oakland and allows cyclists to reach Treasure Island where the owners of the bar and grill there eagerly await more visitors in spandex.
“They’re excited that we’re going to maybe have more variety of food and that we’ll be bigger. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’ll be great,” said Victoria Pacheco of Treasure Island Bar and Grill.
Customer Bhas Welch said he’s not sure how those on foot are supposed to get here. The road where the path ends is one long blind curve without even a shoulder to walk on.
“And so you have to stay on the road and the road is pretty small and thin…so, I would think it would be kind of dangerous to walk down here,” Welch said.
So, the City is offering a shuttle bus from the path to Treasure Island. Even though it’s a two-minute ride, the bus only comes every half-hour.MORE NEWS: State-of-the-Art Water Purification Plant Helps Silicon Valley Battle Drought
Caltrans says there’s a lot of work yet to be done before the roads can handle thousands of people riding or walking here. Perhaps that’s why Sunday’s opening was such a low-key affair.