By Ezra Rapport
In response to the April 26 piece in the East Bay Citizen (“Lockyer Tries To Get Trail Naming With A Little Help From His Friends“) about the Bay Trail renaming proposal, I offer some background and facts that give a more accurate picture of State Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s role as a champion for the Bay Trail.
In 1987, during his tenure as a state senator, Lockyer authored Senate Bill 100, the enabling legislation for the San Francisco Bay Trail, with unanimous support from the Bay Area delegation. Lockyer’s vision was a unifying environmental resource for all communities in the Bay Area. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he helped secure initial seed funds to move the project forward. These funds launched the Bay Trail Project’s competitive grant program that provides financial assistance to local jurisdictions to complete Bay Trail segments, a program that continues today.
At Alamda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty’s suggestion on April 18, the Bay Trail Board of Directors voted without objection to support retaining the Bay Trail name and working to install a monument in a significant location along the trail in Alameda County that recognizes the contributions of Treasurer Lockyer and others throughout the history of the Bay Trail.
Today, the public enjoys over 300 miles of shoreline trail in all nine Bay Area counties, and will some day have access to 500 miles of continuous trail for hiking and bicycling along the edge of the bay. A monument along the Bay Trail is a fitting tribute to Treasurer Lockyer recognizing his leadership in initiating and supporting one of the most popular public projects in the Bay Area. Supervisor Haggerty should be commended for bringing attention to Mr. Lockyer’s accomplishments and fashioning a proposal that has achieved a wide degree of support.
Ezra Rapport is executive director for the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG).