The rebuilding of the access ramps from the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge to Yerba Buena and Treasure Island is set to commence on Friday.
Phase one of the Yerba Buena Island I-80 Interchange Improvement Project will construct new westbound on and off ramps to the new eastern span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (click renderings to enlarge).
Once the ramps are in place on the east side of Yerba Buena Island, which is slated for mid-2016, the existing ramps on the west side of the island will be retrofitted or replaced.

No update on the redevelopment of Treasure Island and plans for 240,000 square feet of new commercial space, 8,000 new residences, and over 300 acres of open space, the ground for which was to be broken this year but the financing for which fell through.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Anonandon

    Has there ever been a traffic study created on the effect to bay bridge traffic during the construction of those 8,000 residences, OR the impact on traffic after people move on the island?

  2. Posted by eugene

    @Anonandon, the EIR for the Treasure Island project was published a few years ago and included a traffic study.

  3. Posted by Futurist

    I guess they forgot to think about sea level rises.

  4. Posted by anon

    What I’ve seen from following a few EIR processes is that they are often charades. Politicians want developers to make large donations for their re-election. Politicians also want to increase tax revenues so are nowadays extremely pro-development.
    Meanwhile the supposedly neutral consultant responding the the EIR questions is on the payroll of the developer. Obviously this consultant would not be hired if they ever had created an EIR unfavorable to any developer in the past. Same thing for an arbitrator in an HOA dispute or a university hired to research a pharmacutical firm’s new drug. The outcome is predetermined.
    Meanwhile the voting and taxpaying public has very little say.

  5. Posted by James

    The first rendering looks like it includes the bike path connection. Is that part of this project?

  6. Posted by PN

    James – it would be if the old bridge was out of the way. Patience…

  7. Posted by woolie

    EIRs are either useless bought-and-paid-for garbage, or critical protections for the environment and neighborhoods, depending on which side you’re on.

  8. Posted by anon2

    Is the creation of a west span bike path still a possibility? The last time I read anything about that proposed project it sounded almost impossible because of the additional weight added to the bridge structure could not be allowed and the huge cost to rebuild the bridge to allow the additional weight of the path would be in excess of 700 million. West Span bike path construction was said to also cause huge traffic delays during the installation because of retrofitting of west span to accommodate the new structure. The SFBC claims it would only cost 200 million and would not interfere with existing traffic flow.

  9. Posted by Robert Prinz

    James is right, despite the fact that the bike path does not yet touch down on Yerba Buena island due to the old bridge being in the way (which should be rectified by the end of 2015) this project which will occur afterwards needs to include the bike/ped access ramps to the island. The ramp does appear to be included in the rendering, but none of the project documents refer to it specifically.
    Also, yes plans are underway for a bike path extension on the west span to SF, with Caltrans already stating their commitment to making it happen in some shape or form. A cantilevered path would be the best option but also the most expensive, mostly because the bridge deck would need to be replaced due to the added weight. Other options such as a converted lane on the bridge itself are being considered as well, and cost/design proposals should be available soon. (more info at http://www.BikeEastBay.org/baybridge).

  10. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The best and simplest solution for a west span bike path is to convert a lane of car traffic into two bike lanes. This would require minimal cost and engineering. The downside of course is that it removes one lane of car traffic. That could be mitigated by establishing two sets of bike lanes, one on each deck of the bridge and then flipping usage between bikes/cars depending on the commute direction.
    We might find that even though car capacity is reduced that such a conversion allows more people to traverse the bridge every day. It might even reduce car congestion if enough people switch modes to cycling across the bridge.

  11. Posted by FormerAptBroker

    Anonandon asks:
    > Has there ever been a traffic study
    > created on the effect to bay bridge
    > traffic during the construction of
    > those 8,000 residences, OR the impact
    > on traffic after people move on the
    > island?
    The study I saw (paid for by the developers) said there would be little impact on traffic since most people living on the island would take public transportation (the percentage of people they had taking the ferry made me laugh out loud)…

  12. Posted by Jake

    The transit plan (pdf at namelink) says that during peak to/from SF:
    - a ferry every 15 minutes
    - a bus every 5-7 minutes
    - congestion pricing fee for cars
    - ramp meters to control flow onto bridge
    They forecast ~600-700 ferry passengers/peak hr when there are 8,000 housing units.
    I guess they could make cost to drive vs ferry so high that few would drive.

  13. Posted by anon

    The scheme to take a lane of traffic on one of the world’s busiest bridges (comment above on March 5th @ 10:30am) and have it be used for bicycles seems to have left out one VERY important thing and that is will the cyclists pay a toll to cross like I have for years? Or are car drivers just so evil that we should be demanded to pay the way for cyclists to use what was one of the auto lanes?
    Also, using one of the world’s longest and very tall bridge structures to commute to work on a bicycle would only be physically possible for about 30% of the population, especially on a daily basis. (This is of course assuming one could live within a few miles of the East Bay toll plaza and work close to the termination of the bridge in San Francisco.)
    How long would it take my closest friend who is a doctor at UCSF on Parnassus to ride home to the Berkeley hills? He is a triathlete and admitted that to physically do this type of ride every day is very difficult.
    I cannot imagine a more unpleasant, noisy, polluted and uncomfortable bike ride than the lower deck of the Bay Bridge. It would be far better to build the west span bike lane, and demand bike riders pay tolls to use and maintain it and supplement the difference with fees from auto drivers.

  14. Posted by djt

    The bike lane could be a carbon fiber structure that is 6 feet wide, so two cyclists could bypass each other at 15 mph each. Unfortunately, this type of structure can probably not be built because the building code for bike lanes likely requires a much larger width, a huge load rating in case the entire thing is packed with overweight cyclists on steel pipe bikes, etc. The biggest issue is the SF landing – how do you get from 180 feet off the ground where the bridge meets the land to sea level? I guess the bike lane could follow the Harrison or Fremont off ramps, but there are some decent grades on both of those.
    I want to see a bike lane and I would use it pretty regularly. But then I cycle everywhere.

  15. Posted by cmak

    This article from a few months ago pegged the cost of a bike lane on the West span at $500M of a total $1B retrofit project:
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Bay-Bridge-bike-path-in-works-4784492.php
    I bike and would love a path connecting the entire span, but it’d be recreational use-only for me, and I can’t see a lot of people using this to commute work (any #s produced on this?)
    If this (or whatever) actually happens, I think it’s totally reasonable to charge bikers a fee to access this.
    But that said— I’d much rather see $1B spent on improving/expanding muni/bart.

  16. Posted by Patrick

    The state should levy a transportation tax on bicycles, bicycle gear and impose a toll on bicycles crossing bridges to fund bicycle improvements. But I agree with cmak, the $1B would be much better spent on public transit.

  17. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I’m fine with charging cyclists to cross the bridge so long as the toll is proportional to wear and tear. :-)
    As for only 30% of commuters being able to cycle across the bridge, I think that is an underestimate. Even if that were an accurate number it sounds like a bargain to use 10% of the bridge to facilitate 30% of commuters. What sort of triathlete considers Berkeley to SF as “very difficult”? I’m a relative wimp and ride a more strenuous route daily.
    It is silly to expect cyclists and pedestrians to pay to construct a facility on the west span. It should have been part of the design in the first place. Adding a bike/ped path to the bridge is a remediation for past planning mistakes.
    ————————–
    “Unfortunately, this type of [lightweight carbon fiber] structure can probably not be built because the building code for bike lanes likely requires a much larger width, a huge load rating in case the entire thing is packed with overweight cyclists on steel pipe bikes”
    Actually the issue isn’t fat bikers on heavy bikes. It is normal sized pedestrians congregating in large numbers to, say, watch fireworks or the Blue Angels. Remember when the Golden Gate Bridge’s arch flattened out when flooded with people in its 50th birthday?
    BTW – I ride a steelie and it is only about a pound heavier than its aluminum counterpart. My own body weight varies by greater amounts on the days I go for the Super Burrito.

  18. Posted by the wolf

    I think the cyclists fare on Bay Bridge should be enough to cover the $500M within 10 yrs time. Someone will need to back calculate based projected riders, but at $50M per year, its gonna be expensive per rider.
    Alternatively, I think SF resident cyclists should have to pass a riding and cycling safety test, and pay a license fee for cycling license.
    FOr GGB, we should definitely charge tourists at least $1 to ride bike on GGB. They would all gladly pay. they cause so many accidents and are such a pain in the butt for local riders. I think local riders could pay a yearly GGB permit fee (may $25- 50) and just show their permit to pass.
    I use the GGB about 100-150x /yr on bike.

  19. Posted by Jake

    SF Bike Coalition estimates (namelink) “annual number of bike trips on the Bay Bridge would be roughly 1.8 million.”
    On a 30-year bond at 4% interest for $500 million that would be about $16/ride.
    Seems there would be a strong claim for subsidy because of other benefits.

  20. Posted by the wolf

    I think the only people who would use this would be those people living on TI. no one from SF wants to ride to Oakland. there might be a few from Oakland to SF. prefer that money go to public transit so can benefit more people.

  21. Posted by Salzigtal the Oskie

    @Futurist
    I don’t know about EIRs & HOAs, but I participated in a triple blind study of Pine Bark Extract paid for by a manufacturer of same at that other school in Palo Alto. The conclusion: No health benefits from either PBE or the placebo.

  22. Posted by Salzigtal the Oskie

    Oops, should have said @anon

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