SOUTHERN SHORELINE:
Harbour Way, Marina Bay and Point Isabel

The planned Bay Trail route is largely completed and accessible on Richmond’s southern shoreline between Harbor Way South and the Albany border east of Central Avenue.   As shown on the map, this section of Bay Trail links a necklace of four City of Richmond parks in Marina Bay, McLaughlin Eastshore State Park and Point Isabel Regional Shoreline.

The Bay Trail and the City parks with their historical sculptural exhibits form the core of Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. Download the free Vizzit Places app in the App Store or in Android to enjoy the Home Front Heroes 60-minute smart phone audio tour during a two-mile walk on the Bay Trail around this national park. The South 51st Street trailhead offers instant access to excellent bird watching on Bay tidal wetlands and Stege Marsh between there and Marina Bay.

There are several short gaps and areas where improvements are needed to improve Bay Trail access, safety and enjoyment. Richmond’s City Council adopted the South Richmond Transportation Connectivity Plan in mid-September 2015. Implementation of this excellent plan will greatly improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety where the Bay Trail is on city streets, rather than along the shoreline.

 In late 2023, the City contracted with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to lead implementation of Phase 2 of the Richmond Wellness Trail, and TPL is in the process of selecting a consultant team to prepare construction plans. Phase 1 was completed in 2022 as an attractively landscaped, two-way protected bikeway and wide sidewalk linking the Richmond BART Station with the Richmond Greenway and Cutting Blvd. Completing Phase 2 to the shoreline of Lucretia Edwards Park will improve the Bay Trail along Marina Way South where there are sidewalks for pedestrians but no bikeway for cyclist safety. Project design and construction is funded by the Richmond Rising Transformative Climate Communities grant from the California Strategic Growth

The ideal Bay Trail is, of course, next to the Bay and also separated from motor vehicle roadways as exemplified in Marina Bay, as well as in Miller-Knox and Point Pinole Regional Shorelines. However, the route detours inland where there are port, boat repair and industrial facilities along the shoreline. Harbour Way South and Cutting Blvd. are examples of these inland detours where the Bay Trail simply takes the form of sidewalks and bicycle lanes. To accommodate the great increase in local and regional bicycle traffic with opening of the Bay Trail across the RSR Bridge and Richmond-San Francisco Ferry service, the City Council adopted the Ferry to Bridge to Greenway (F2B2G) Complete Streets Plan in February 2021 as prepared with a $276,000 Sustainable Communities Transportation Planning Grant from Caltrans. A key recommendation of the F2B2G Plan is to provide 2-1/4 miles of two-way protected bikeway (cycle track)  and Class I multi-use trail from the ferry terminal at the foot of Harbour Way South to Hoffman Blvd. and along Cutting Blvd. to Garrard Blvd. at the entry to the Point Richmond Historic District. Construction stared in May 2022 funded by a $725,000 grant from the CA Dept. of Transportation, $325,000 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and contributions from Simms Metals and Industrial Properties  Trust. The final steps of installing the protected bikeway on Hoffman Blvd. & Harbour Way  South to Wright Avenue and safety & way finding signs should be completed by June, 2024.

 

View from Jay & Barbara Vincent Park – Photo by Sean Co

 

Richmond’s General Plan and the Richmond Bay Specific Plan call for new Bay Trail access points from the ends of S. 46th and S. 32nd Streets and a loop trail inland of Stege Marsh between the South 51st Street trailhead and the Meeker Tidal Creek Trail via a bridge over Meeker Tidal Creek connecting to Regatta Blvd behind Bio-Rad and Richmond Wholesale Meat Company buildings. The S. 46th St. trailhead will be constructed as part of the Campus Bay Mixed-Use Project approved by the City Council in December 2020. The project also will provide a new trailhead staging area with parking lot and restrooms at the end of the S. 51st St. Bay Trail spur.

 

 

 

Snowy Egret foraging with Black Oystercatcher

See the Jan 31, 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article: Richmond Shoreline Parks: Trails and history