Once again the West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge is close for renovations starting on January 17, 2012. The renovations are scheduled to last thru April 1, 2012. For more information, see the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District information page here.
This West side reopened in mid-September 2011 from the last round of repairs and seismic renovations. The East Side reopened to pedestrians to cross the full extent of the Golden Gate Bridge in December 2011 after seismic renovations.
This next round of construction is the final phase of improvements on the San Francisco side of the bridge including the Battery East Bay Trail (the bike/pedestrian trail from Long Avenue to the Golden Gate Bridge). The renovations will include installation of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, trail re-surfacing and grade improvements, replaced fencing and lighting, and construction of the Fort Point Vista.
These renovations will affect how you get on to the bridge as both a cyclist and pedestrian. From Long Avenue, either make a right and go up Lincoln Avenue and follow the road to the upper parking area and follow the signs to the bridge. Or you can go up the Bay Trail to the lower parking area and then transition over to Lincoln Avenue and follow the detour.
This round of renovations is not taking place during the high season for tourists fortunately. That fact alone may make this a better interaction than the last round that occurred over the Summer of 2011.
Lane markers and signs were placed on the East Side of the Bridge during the last round of renovations which helped make pedestrians aware and gave cyclists a dedicated lane for movement.
On a typical weekend, over 5,000 bicyclists cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Pedestrians and bicyclists alike will need to be aware of how crowded the bridge will be. No matter the time of year, the hardest part of crossing on the pedestrian side of the bridge is inattentive tourists who don’t think bikes belong on their side. Or the teenagers with headphones in who don’t hear the bikes announcing their presence over their music. To experience what it is like to bike across the pedestrian side of the bridge, check out Ridin’ Dirty below.
These next few months will require lots and lots of patience from the bicyclists and understanding from pedestrians. Just remember to be vigilant and patient as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge.