Safety Concerns Spur Golden Gate Bridge, Caltrans to Consider Restricting Access to Vista Point

Bridge officials are asking Caltrans for a temporary permit that would allow them to close Vista Point, if necessary, during peak times.

The popular tourist spot in Marin County is causing safety concerns from daily backups on the Golden Gate Bridge, authorities said.

Vista Point has only 100 parking spots, but can draw 10,000 cars on any given weekend.

"It backs onto the exit ramp and then that is essentially onto the Golden Gate Bridge, block the curb lane definitely," Capt. Lisa Locati, Golden Gate Bridge District. "It backs up and creates congestion across the span."

Monitoring Vista Point is tricky because it is an official state rest stop and cannot be closed without first notifying the public. Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol oversee the lot at Vista Point, and the bridge has no jurisdiction.

A joint effort is underway to come up with a solution.

One long-term possibility is restricting access to just to tour buses and shuttling other visitors from satellite parking lots.

"I don't think it would be the same," tourist Charlene Brown said. "I like doing it myself and you know, being on my own schedule."

A Caltrans spokesman said closing Vista Point down during peak times will not solve the problem, but will only move the traffic congestion a little farther down Interstate 101.

Officials are also considering for Super Bowl weekend is to restrict parking during certain hours. A meeting between all parties involved is scheduled to take place at the end of the month.

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