Judge to Bay Island: Bridge Is Public
For now, an electric gate adjacent to a public walkway on the peninsula side prohibits public access to the span. A trial has been set for May.
Though Bay Island residents contacted by the Weekly declined to go on record, one individual explained it boiled down to issues of liability, arguing the city of Newport Beach doesn't want to assume liability for people who suffer injuries after jumping from the bridge into the shallow canal below.
Though the actions of the commission may seem overzealous in the eyes of many California residents, Deputy Chief Counsel Christopher Pederson explained such actions are a part of the its duties.
"We have an understanding that the California Coastal Commission is required to protect the public's right of access to public waters," Pederson said.