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Bridge the Bay Benefit - this Thursday, Feb. 24

The western span of the Bay Bridge

The western span of the Bay Bridge

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Bridge the Bay Benefit this Thursday to support the Bay Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path.

Several groups on either side of the Bay have pushed for a safe way to bike and walk across the Bay Bridge for years. The Eastern Span (between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island) is already under construction and will open a 15-foot pathway on the southern side of the bridge in the next few years. The Western Span is still in planning stages and the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and East Bay Bicycle Coalition are working to see the span is designed, funded and built.

Thursday's event is both a fundraiser to continue advocacy efforts and an opportunity for supporters to celebrate the work completed up to this point. Appropriately, the music will be bike-themed (with a homemade bicycle part band) and guests Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and Union City Mayor Mark Green will speak about the future of bicycling in the East Bay. Dinner will be provided by the Bread Workshop. Drinks from Clif Bar wines and New Belgium Beer will be available for $4.

The evening's fundraising will include a live auction, where supporters can bid on several high-end bicycles, photographs and equipment. Bidders can compete for a chance to win a private bike tour of the East Bay hills with Tour de France racer and new EBBC board member Freddie Rodriguez.

The event will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, 2150 Allston Way. Tickets are available now for $20; student tickets are $10; and children under 14 are free. As always, free bike parking will be available at the Berkeley Bike Station until 9:30 p.m.

About Ruth Miller

Ruth Miller is a masters student in the UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning. Her primary interests include travel, cartography, and food.