A $335,000 revamp has been approved for a section of the Richmond Bay Trail, adding six-foot wide bike lanes, widening the sidewalk along the Point Richmond Plunge and adding signs and landscape improvements.
Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC) Chair Bruce Beyaert said more than 32 miles of the trail have been completed over the last 15 years, with 10 miles left to go.
“The Plunge is the hub of the Richmond Bay Trail,” Beyaert said. “Once completed, we are one step closer to completing the trail.”
The last 10 miles will take about a decade, he said.
The Richmond City Council approved the renovation project, which will be done by W.R. Forde Associates, a Richmond construction company.
The company has done renovation projects on the trail before, including the Bay Trail Gap Closure Project, which was celebrated earlier this year with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Bay Trail Gap Closure Project included two sections of the trail on Brickyard Cove Road, Shipyard 3 Trail, Brickyard Landing and Dornan Drive.
The new project will be on Garrard Blvd. near the Natatorium, also known as the Plunge, between Cutting Blvd. and the Ferry Point Tunnel. This is where the lanes will be widened. New trees, direction signs and landscaping will complete the project.
More than 67 percent of the Bay Trail has been completed.
“The Bay Trail is a planned recreational corridor that, when complete, will encircle San Francisco and San Pablo Bays with a continuous 500-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails,” according to baytrail.org.
Construction will start this month and will take about a month to complete, according to Dave Voorhis, chief estimator of the construction company.
The project is funded by grants from the Association of Bay Area Governments Bay Trail Project, California Coastal Conservancy, Point Richmond Gateway Foundation and TRAC, supplemented with funds the city received to compensate for loss of shoreline recreation caused by the Cosco Busan oil spill.
Residents encountered on the Richmond Bay Trail welcomed the news.
Alide Chasse, a long time Richmond resident, hadn’t heard about the renovation project but liked the idea.
She tries to walk on the trail almost everyday, but doesn’t like that the walkways are too narrow.
“There should be signs that indicate what side of the walkways are for walkers and runners and what sides are for the bikers,” Chasse said.
Richmond resident Linda Kim had a similar complaint.
“The bikers are too aggressive,” said Kim, mother of a toddler and an infant. She said cyclists sometimes disregard the presence of children. Kim suggested marking the lanes, dividing the walking areas and the biking ones.
Another resident had a different reaction.
George Evans, a longtime resident, said the renovation project is a good idea, but that renovations should be done in other parts of the city.
“I hate that they only work on the outskirts of the city,” Evans said. “I live in southside
Richmond and I would like to see them working on more pavements, lights and community participation there.”