Beginning in 1904, the Atchison-Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad (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 has sat unused in the heart of Richmond for more than 25 years, is being transformed into the Richmond Greenway and a model urban trail. The Richmond Greenway is a three-mile community 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 Richmond Greenway 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 is developing a native plant garden and working to grow the landscape in the area as well. The Richmond Greenway in the San Francisco Bay Area is moving forward to connect the neighborhoods it serves with open space, recreational opportunities and transportation options.
A new 1.3-mile segment of trail doubles the length of the greenway and parallels BART between 23rd Street and San Pablo Avenue. This new segment connects neighborhoods along it to central Richmond with its BART station and comes tantalizingly close to connecting to the Ohlone Greenway on its east end. The right-of-way is narrow in this section and only allows for some landscaping, but the route includes a bridge over the BART tracks and a tunnel under Interstate 80. Like most urban projects, there are some challenging gaps that still need to be finished to connect the two segments to each other, the 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 railroad tracks and the 23rd Street undercrossing, which pose a major barrier to connectivity.
To get between the two segments take 23rd Street under the railroad tracks and then work your way back to the corridor by surface streets.