A proposal is afoot to rename the popular San Francisco Bay Trail after State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who authored the law for the 500-mile walking and bicycling network when he was state senator.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty proposed the name change, saying it's an appropriate tribute to the person who made the trail possible.

"He carried the original legislation, raised millions for it and I think it's fitting to give that honor to him," Haggerty said.

At least one city is not keen on the idea. Trail supporters in Richmond are pushing to keep the existing San Francisco Bay Trail name because it is neutral, nationally recognized, encompasses the nine counties that make up the region, and is more inclusive of all the people who lobby and raise funds to get the path built, said Bruce Brubaker, a member of the Trails for Richmond Action Committee.

"It's more respectful of all the thousands that have worked in Richmond and other places to make the San Francisco Bay Trail a reality," Brubaker said.

Replacing the more than 100 exhibits and signs in Richmond, which is home to 30 miles of finished trail or about 10 percent of the regional network, would be pricey, he added.

The Richmond City Council concurred and adopted a resolution Tuesday in support of keeping the existing name. A section of the trail in the East Bay was named after Lockyer, Councilman Jim Rogers added. The resolution will be sent to Haggerty; state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley; state Reps. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, as well as the Association of Bay Area Governments, which heads Bay Trail planning.


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Haggerty said he would have preferred that the City Council invite him to the meeting to discuss and answer questions before voting, which he said would have been a fair hearing. He said he doesn't believe communities should wait until someone dies before naming a public resource after them, and added funding for new signs could probably be found without spending taxpayer money.

The proposal was not Lockyer's idea, nor was he consulted, said Tom Dresslar, Lockyer's communications director.

"He takes justifiable pride in the leadership role he played in making the Bay Trail a reality," Dresslar said. "The outcome of this debate will not alter the record or his pride in his contribution." He added they will let the process play out.

ABAG's executive board discussed the idea of renaming the Bay Trail in March, but made no decisions, said spokeswoman Kathleen Cha. The board asked its staff to study it, and return with more information and recommendations.

The idea for a continuous trail encircling San Francisco and San Pablo bays and connecting nine counties became law in 1987 when Lockyer authored legislation directing ABAG to develop a plan. ABAG adopted a plan in 1989.

So far 310 miles, or more than half the planned trail, have been built so far, Cha said.

Some segments have been named after individuals. For example, a one-mile stretch in Hayward is dedicated to Arthur Emmes, a member of the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency's citizen advisory committee and a trail advocate.

Last May, a 300-foot bridge connecting San Leandro to Oakland at the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline was christened the "Bill Lockyer Bay Trail Bridge."

Katherine Tam covers Richmond. Follow her at Twitter.com/katherinetam. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.

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