Imagine Bay Bridge As Tourist Destination

With the new and gorgeous Eastern Span of the Oakland Bay Bridge only a couple years away, there’s an opportunity to create an Oakland-based Gateway Park – and to draw visitors of all stripes.  The Gateway Park Working Group, consisting of reps from an alphabet soup of public agencies, is trying to create this park from scratch.

Imagine all the visitors at Gateway Park. If there’s an easy way to get there, we think that visitors would flock to this new Contra Costa vantage point.  At land’s end, you would glimpse glorious views of San Francisco to rival other Bay Area locales.  In addition, Treasure Island, two bridge spans and the bay itself are better than whipped cream and cherries.

Tourists and locals need something to do, once there.  The park could become a recreational destination, where bicyclers are encouraged to take the out-and-back trip between the new Eastern Span and Treasure Island.  There might be a kayak launch pad at this location.  Plus we envision historical and environmental signage placed around the walking trails.

Remember to feed the masses. To become a full-fledged tourist spot, there’s gotta be places to park, hang out, buy memorabilia and grab a snack.  We have the competitive chops to do “one better” than what you get at the Golden Gate Bridge, especially the dismal food offerings.

Coordination among different landowners comes into play.  The park site is old U.S. Army property now administered by the East Bay Regional Park District.  The west gateway area, slotted for retail uses, is owned by the City of Oakland.  Perhaps some of the other contiguous landowners should get in this game as well, to ensure there’s enough space to fulfill visitor dreams.

At this point, the Gateway Park Working Group has generated plans which are available here.  They are asking the public to weigh in, through this park survey.  Be heard now, on this legacy in-the-making!