Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers all have a place on the new eastern Bay Bridge span. (Bryan Goebel / KQED)
Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers all have a place on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. (Bryan Goebel/KQED)

If you’ve noticed that commuters on the Bay Bridge have been driving a little slowly these past few days, you’re right. Since the new eastern span opened late Monday night, transit officials say there have been fewer cars traveling on the bridge during the morning commute, but travel speeds have been slower.

People are clearly taking time to gawk and savor the new span. Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus told the Bay City News Service: “Traffic is moving more slowly. It’s a new bridge and new experience.”

Haus went on to note that, on an average morning, about 9,000 motorists cross the bridge per hour during the commute. But earlier this week the bridge carried only 7,500 cars per hour in the same time period. Later this week the number of vehicles crossing the span crept up to 8,100 cars, Haus said.

Law enforcement is helping move traffic along, said Bay City News:

An increasing number of California Highway Patrol units have been patrolling the bridge, advising motorists to not take photographs of the bridge and views while driving, CHP Officer Vu Williams said….

For eastbound motorists seeing the tower, bicycles and pedestrians, it is a lot to take in, he said.

With “the novelty of the new bridge, drivers want to take a look around,” Williams said.

As for the bicycle path, the CHP has dispatched bicycle patrols to monitor cyclists and pedestrians.

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