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Raising an Intersection, Razing the Last of the Old Bay Bridge

Planning a scenic bike, jog, walk, or scooter ride on the Oakland Bay Bridge's eastern span this weekend? You'll have to wait until late Saturday, after Caltrans sets off charges to implode the last few piers of the old bridge it replaced.

Because of the planned implosions, the bike/ped path has actually been closed since Tuesday. Dave Campbell, Bike East Bay's Advocacy Director, brought this to Streetsblog's attention via twitter (see below). He's aggravated that Caltrans failed to give notice to the cycling community of the pending closure:

"This final implosion event will culminate Caltrans’ removal of the marine foundations of the old Bay Bridge and will mark the end of the demolition of the original east span," wrote Caltrans in a prepared statement. Four piers will remain--one on the Yerba Buena Island side and three on the Oakland side--and be re-purposed to support boardwalks.

So why did the bike and ped path have to be closed most of the week, when the motor-vehicle lanes remained open?

According to one source close to the goings-on it has to do with security--they don't want a potential terrorist watching their security procedures for handling and placing all those explosives, and the bike path makes a good observation deck. That said, motorized traffic will also be stopped, albeit much more briefly: "CHP will initiate traffic rolling closures lasting up to 30 minutes on Interstate 80 eastbound and westbound approaching the Bay Bridge on the day of the implosion," wrote Caltrans in its release.

Fair enough, but Bike East Bay is still pretty miffed that Caltrans didn't tell them the path would be closed (which seems to be part of a pattern). "It is frustrating that Caltrans's most impressive bike facility is one of their most poorly operated facilities," said Campbell in a phone interview with Streetsblog. Bike East Bay is planning to meet with Caltrans officials on Monday about communications, among other things.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco...

A diagram of a raised intersection. Courtesy of NACTO.
A diagram of a raised intersection. Courtesy of NACTO.
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San Francisco's First Raised Intersection coming to Page and Buchanan!

Walk San Francisco is celebrating an advocacy first in the local safe streets movement--San Francisco is going to get its first-ever raised intersection, as part of the Page Street Neighborway project.

From Walk SF's celebratory post:

This is exactly the kind of street design that San Francisco needs more of in order to achieve the city’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2024. Walk San Francisco proposed the idea of a raised intersection early on in the planning process for the Page Street Neighborway project, and advocated strongly for it throughout. With your help, we won! There’s more to come for Page Street, too.

Check out our previous post on the effort for a description of raised intersections and similar raised treatments. Construction should begin next year.

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