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March 13, 2015

Getting To And Hiking The Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path

While I was up in the San Francisco Bay area last weekend, I went over to the east bay and hiked that portion of the new Bay Bridge Trail that is open to the public. Officially it is the Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path. The part everyone is excited about is the path that is constructed along the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge which will eventually allow bicyclists and pedestrians to have direct access to Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island. Currently, public access to the path stops just as it gets to the suspension portion of the bridge just east of the Yerba Buena tunnel.

But you don't get to bike or walk on that new path unless you find one of the trailheads in the real world environments of Emeryville or Oakland...or the bus stop on the Bay Bridge itself. The bus stop has been there all along, I'm sure, primarily to serve Caltrans employees who work on the bridge. Go to ACTransit.org if you want to figure out how to take advantage of the easy way.

The Bay Bridge's own website offers up a nearly useless map. The map has been shrunk so that no street names are readable with no link to a readable version. Your tax dollars at work. TrailLink has a better map, but you have to register to use it, and it only shows one entry point - the one I used. The Oakland Wiki has a similar map and you don't have to register to use it.

The trailhead that I did not go to is in Oakland at 37.82198, -122.301379, AKA the parking lot at Maritime Street and Burma Road.

The trailhead I did go to is in front of the Emeryville IKEA store at 37.829521,-122.292555. The current imagery at that link puts it in shadow, but it's there. The trailhead on the easterly (IKEA) side of Shellmound Street is for pedestrians and bicycles. Over on the westerly side of the street is another access point that joins the bike path that goes along there. They join immediately after the easterly branch crosses beneath the Shellmound/40th Street viaduct.

There are several bus routes that will take you right to the trailhead (or to IKEA, which is its own kind of hike):

Or, you can do like I did, and just walk the 1.8 miles from MacArthur BART. Head west on 40th Street. As you near the trailhead, 40th will go up on a viaduct that curves to the right and comes down as Shellmound Street. The trailhead is RIGHT THERE to your right. Even the blind can't miss it. If you get to the first driveway for IKEA, then you have gone too far! Turn around! Walk back the way you came a hundred feet or so and wake up and pay attention to the world around you. How in the hell did you miss that?

There is also a crosswalk at that first IKEA driveway which you can use to cross over Shellmound Street to get to the twin trailhead on that side of the street, but why expose yourself to traffic like that? The IKEA, BTW, offers restrooms and water fountains, but comes up pretty short in the hiking supply department. I'm sure you could find a water bottle in there, if you wanted to take the time to look for it. There is a Trader Joe's about half a mile north and you will have passed various retail opportunities on 40th Street.

Once you get to that IKEA trailhead, this video will give you some idea of what you could see along the path:

Here's a link to all my still photos from the hike which was about 10 miles round trip from the MacArthur station. Samples:

Pink Wall on 40th Streeet Oakland (3033)
On 40th Street in Oakland
.

Hudson (2979)
A Hudson in Emeryville
.

Easy Porsche (2978)
A Porsche, also in Emeryville
.

Pixar (2975)
Pixar Studios in, you know, Emeryville
.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path Entrance (2985)
The very beginning of the trail where it curves under the Shellmound Street viaduct
.

Bay Bridge Trail Hike -  Google
Five-ish miles from MacArthur Station to the limit of the path
.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (2989)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0003)
You hike under a lot of elevated highways
at first.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0013)
Currently the path is open from 7 AM to 6 PM and they say that CHP begins clearing it at 4:30
. I was on there after 4:30 and saw no sign of CHP, but a couple of local police (or sheriff's deputies) bicycled up the bridge about then. This photo was taken at about the spot where the path from Oakland joins the path from Emeryville.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path - not the last porta-potties (0017)
There is a sign at these porta-potties saying they are the last ones before the bridge
. That is not true.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (3002)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path bus stop (0104A)
This is the AC Transit bus stop shelter on the Bay Bridge
.

Bus Stop On The Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (3022)
FYI

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path - the last porta-potty (0025)
This is the last porta-potty before the bridge
. I didn't spot anyplace to get potable water anywhere along the trail, so bring all you need.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0038)
What's left of the old bridge on the left
.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0032)
Lighting for the path on the bridge comes from these tubes situated about a foot above the pavement
.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (3003)
Closer to the raw end of the old bridge
.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0054)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0068)
The other end of the old bridge
.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path end (0073)
As far as you can go for now
. Access to the islands is supposed to happen this summer.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (3009)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0080)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (3016)
Old equipment under the old Bay Bridge atop one of the support towers
. It looks electrical and I wondered why this equipment needed to be this far out from the shore.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (3025)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0114)
Lots of landscaping along the way before you get to the bridge
. Under the biggest snarl of overpasses there is a riparian habitat with all the plants and animals one might expect to find there - except not a lot of water fowl. Of course, buried beneath those highways I don't know how an egret is going to see it, much less get to it.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0102A)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0105)
This seems to be the access to the tunnel out to the toll booths
. I did not descend. There were no signs telling me to stay away or inviting me in.

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0116)

Alexander Zuckermann Bicycle-Pedestrian Path (0119)
Returning, I followed the branch to the westerly side of Shellmound Street
.

Smallmound to 40th Street Viaduct Emeryville (3027)
On the viaduct facing east on 40th into Emeryville and Oakland
. Pedestrians on one side (north and east), bicycles only on the other side.

Filed under Architecture,California,Cities/Urbanism,Cycling,GoPro,Photography,Travel | permalink | March 13, 2015 at 06:55 PM

Comments

Terrific photos, Ron; thanks for all this.

Posted by: Earl at Mar 14, 2015 5:45:28 PM

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