In keeping with the theme from yesterday’s post about shopping local, here’s a neat little event I wanted to make sure people are aware of.
Oakland Urban Paths
Oakland Urban Paths is, in their words, “a group of dedicated walkers, planners, historians and fundraisers with a common mission: to raise awareness of the paths and Oakland’s heritage through a variety of activities in partnership with Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) and the City of Oakland.”
I haven’t really had all that much interaction with this group, even though I think the idea is really neat. I wanted to go on one of their Jane’s Walks last spring, but just couldn’t find the time.
A little over a year ago, they did this project of surveying all the pedestrian paths in Oakland, and I volunteered a little bit on that. I found it fascinating. Basically, they had this list of “pedestrian paths” from the City, and had people go around to each one and inspect it for all these different criteria. Does it exist (some that were on the list don’t, or have been kind of taken over by adjacent property owners)? What kind of condition is it in? What is the diameter of the handrail? What is the slope of the path? How large is the landing between flights of stairs? All sorts of crazy stuff like that.
I went and helped measure in a couple of different neighborhoods. Some of the so-called “paths” were pretty weak. Like, the courtyard in the Swan’s market. But there were other paths that were totally awesome. I had no idea about a lot of these staircases, and discovering them made me feel like I was learning a little secret or something. It was exciting!
Walk & Shop
Anyway. Tomorrow, Saturday, December 11th, Oakland Urban Paths will be hosting a neat-sounding event:
Come ramble through three Business Districts and surrounding neighborhoods of Crocker Highlands, Grand-Lake, and Piedmont Avenue via the historic stairways and pathways that once served the Key Route Street Car.
Participants will have an opportunity to shop at the many businesses along Lakeshore Avenue, Grand Avenue, and Piedmont Avenue.
We plan to meet at Lakeshore, between Longridge and Mandana, at 10am. The walk arrives at Piedmont Ave, via the Morcom Amphitheater of Roses, by 11:15 for a look around some of the stores. We’ll reconvene at 11:45 at the Key System Plaque near the corner of 41st and Piedmont (by the Longs Drugs parking lot) and follow Glen Echo Creek back towards Grand Avenue.
Here’s the map of where they’re walking:
I love learning about the stairways that connect different neighborhoods, so if I were in town this weekend, I would totally go. If you’re free tomorrow, you should consider attending.