Beginning in 1904, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) carried freight through the city of Richmond, reaching its height during World War II when Richmond became a national leader of wartime industry and the woman's labor movement. This same corridor, which sat unused in the heart of Richmond for more than 25 years, has been transformed into a model urban trail known as the Richmond Greenway. The greenway is a bicycle and pedestrian rail-trail that brings 32 new acres of vibrant open space to a densely populated, underserved community with few recreational opportunities and scarce green space. The path also provides pedestrian and bicycle access to other regional trails, and makes key connections with community resources and public transportation.
The first segment of the trail opened in 2007 between 2nd and 23rd Street and includes the Lincoln Elementary School Community Garden where Urban Tilth is growing herbs and veggies to supplement the local supply. The Watershed Project developed a native plant garden and has worked to grow the landscape in the area as well. Trail users can reach the sprawling San Francisco Bay Trail system by continuing a short distance on-street from the trail's western end along Ohio Avenue.
A newer segment of trail doubles the length of the Richmond Greenway by paralleling BART between Carlson Boulevard and San Pablo Avenue. This new segment connects neighborhoods with central Richmond and the Ohlone Greenway across San Pablo Avenue. The right-of-way is narrow in this section and only allows for limited landscaping, but the route includes a bridge over the BART tracks and a tunnel under Interstate 80.
Like most urban projects, there are still some challenging gaps that need to be addressed to better connect the two segments to each other, as well as to the San Francisco Bay Trail to the west and the Ohlone Greenway to the east. The City of Richmond is working on grant funding to connect the two completed segments across the active railroad tracks and 23rd Street, which pose a major barrier to connectivity.
There are no official parking areas for the Richmond Greenway, but parking may be available on local neighborhood streets. Be sure to obey any posted parking restrictions.