West Oakland Link & Bay Skyway: Update

At the December 15, 2022 BPAC meeting, Gavin Lohry, Project Manager for the Bay Area Toll Authority of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, will provide an overview of the Bay Skyway and the current projects that are under development and will provide an active transportation connection between San Francisco, Treasure Island, and the East Bay.

A more in-depth update will be provided on West Oakland Link section of the Bay Skyway which will provide a safe connection for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel between West Oakland, the Port of Oakland, and the Bay Bridge Trail. The West Oakland Link is currently finishing environmental review and plans on beginning detailed design (PS&E) in early 2023.

An excerpt is below, followed by the full presentation and summary of discussion.

Bay Skyway: Current Projects

Three projects are currently under development (Phase 1) that will connect Oakland and San Francisco with a combination of pathways and an electric ferry with frequent service:

  • West Oakland Link
  • Yerba Buena Island Multi-use Path
  • Treasure Island to San Francisco Electric Ferry

Bay Skyway: Current Projects Progress

Working with Caltrans and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority we submitted 4 federal and state grants (for $124 million) that would fully fund construction of Bay Skyway Phase 1.

  • Projected to carry 8,229 daily bicycle, e-bike and pedestrian trip in 2028.
  • Reduce VMT on the Bay Bridge by 192.3 million miles cut 89,800 tons of GHG emissions over 20 years.

West Oakland Link

West Oakland Link which is part of the Bay Trail will provide a safe connection for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel between West Oakland, the Port of Oakland, and the Bay Bridge Trail.

  • 1.1 miles of separated, elevated low-stress multi-use path
  • Connects Mandela/Grand intersection to Bay Bridge Trail
  • Connects with the planned protected bike lanes to downtown and Lake Merritt on Grand Avenue
  • Landscaping and community amenities

West Oakland Link: Current Status

  • Environmental Review
    • Final CEQA documentation (IS/MND) is set to be adopted in January 2023.
  • Detailed Design (PS&E)
    • Fully funded and plan on starting design Spring of 2023.
    • Developing community-based engagement plan.
  • Construction Funding
    • Submitted 4 federal and state grants for the West Oakland Link in 2022.
    • West Oakland Link was awarded a 2022 Active Transportation Program grant for $17.6 million.


Summary of discussion

  • There is no plan to charge bicyclists and pedestrians for crossing the Bay Bridge. (This has been discussed at times for the Golden Gate Bridge, although it has not been implemented.) The current direction for the Bay Bridge is pursuing a no-cost facility for active transportation users to cross the Bay.
  • The Treasure Island Ferry does have a cost to it, but once the Western Span connection is completed, there will be a no-cost active transportation connection.
  • The access to Yerba Buena Island from the Bay Bridge Path has been closed on weekdays. The closure is due to the development-related construction on the island, and it appears that access may be restored in January or February.
  • The BPAC’s Infrastructure Committee is seeking an update on MTC’s West Grand Ave project as follow-up to a presentation to the Infrastructure Committee from about one year ago. The MTC project is separate from the BATA project presented tonight, but the two projects will connect and they are being coordinated.
  • OakDOT has completed plans for the paving/road diet of W Grand Ave from Mandela Pkwy to Market St. This project will also connect to the MTC and BATA projects. OakDOT is working through the contracting to get this paving/road diet project under construction.
  • The 10-year anniversary of the Western Span pathway is approaching and it would be great to have Oakland’s BPAC as well as Bike East Bay and WOBO involved in the celebration.
  • The West Oakland Link and Bay Skyway will provide a great long-distance connection for bicyclists in Oakland and the East Bay who aren’t comfortable riding in traffic. There is significant demand for this is as currently there are not many places where this is possible.
  • MTC performed a community outreach process in the project area.

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