Bag checks begin at Golden Gate Bridge

April 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tighter security measures are being enforced at the golden gate bridge, following a security breach On Monday.

Three people scaled the bridge, in a dangerous protest over China's relationship with Tibet.

Over the next couple of days, if you plan to walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, expect your bag and stroller to be checked.

Extra police officers have also been called to make sure that protestors don't stage anymore events on the Golden Gate.

On the Golden Gate Bridge, the security checks started early. Every pedestrian's bag, backpack and purse will be searched.

"We will see a very large increase in the CHP presence in the bridge today, and even a larger presence by tomorrow," said Golden Gate spokeswoman Mary Currie.

The extra security comes just one day after three protesters climbed the bridge to hang a Free Tibet banner from the side.

They used a baby stroller to haul all of the equipment on the bridge.

"Some would want to say that there was some sort of a breach in security, but in our viewpoint, with a 1.7 mile bridge, even with some surveillance cameras and patrols, we cannot be patrolling every square inch, foot of this bridge," said Currie.

It means that for the next two days, several thousand bags will have to be checked, and many of those are tourists.

"I was disappointed yesterday that we couldn't walk the bridge, but I think that it is necessary to have the security," said German tourist Hetty Boget.

An inconvenience, yes, but most say it's worth it after traveling so far to see this spectacular landmark.

"The bridge being an American symbol and it's definitely targeted for protesters. I think it is a good idea. I am not offended by a checkpoint across," said Canadian tourist William Hayden.

Security officials will meet with the Coast Guard, park rangers and they may adjust their security measures in advance of this Olympic torch relay and any protest problems that they could encounter.

View video taken by Students for a Free Tibet of the Golden Gate Bridge protest here.

For Olympic Torch schedule and information, including street closures and the six-mile route through San Francisco, click here.

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