After 20 years of planning, a bike and pedestrian bridge connecting south Palo Alto to the Baylands opened to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday.
California State Senator Josh Becker, representative of parts of Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, said he was thankful for the community leadership and funding organizations that helped make the bridge a reality.
“Access to open space is incredibly important for all the communities, particularly for Palo Altans,” Becker said. “Opening this bridge will provide year-round access to the Baylands and its wonderful trails.”
This $23 million project allows people to take a scenic and shorter path to the Baylands and cuts significant time off the commute to work.
Palo Alto native Alice Mansell said she has been involved with the Palo Alto Airport for decades and is grateful the city made it easier to access with the new bridge, just south of the runway.
“For people who are commuting to work, if you are in South Palo Alto, it’s a pain in the neck to get to the old crossings,” Mansell said. “I’m also glad Palo Alto put a little bit more art into this bridge, and it is great for bicyclists.”
The bridge’s artwork includes the Baylands’ reeds as fences and decorative round metal seats that double as a resting place on the east side.
Mansell said the bridge is unique because of its pop-out area where people can enjoy a view of the Baylands, along with the artistic accoutrement..
Bay Area resident Susan Kulawik said she has been waiting eight years for the bridge to open and is looking forward to using it on her bike rides to the Baylands.
“Although it is really loud, it will make it more fun to bike over here,” Kulawik said. “It is also much less inclined compared to the other bridges north and south of here.”