For First Time Visitors

Welcome to Walking Berkeley! Please see the About page for background about this project. I completed my goal of walking every street and path in Berkeley at the end of 2007. Although this blog ended with the completion of the project, the archives will stay up and available for browsing. Enjoy!

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Guest Post at Local Ecologist

Georgia of Local Ecology asked me to submit a post for her Tree Walks feature on Local Ecologist. Read the post about my experiences with fruit trees, and while you’re there browse the rest of her blog for lots of interesting observations on neighborhoods, landscape design, urban forestry, and much more. I particularly like Georgia’s reading lists; thanks to her suggestions I have learned about books like the wonderful There, There: East San Francisco Bay at Your Feet, by Margot Patterson Doss. Berkeley Public Library has copies of the book, and you can check out some of Doss’ columns posted on Local Ecologist.

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Update: Mill Valley Paths & Stairs, Mission Street, and trees

Today I led one of three walks for the Berkeley Path Wanderers summer event, which was a lot of fun. One great thing about the Path Wanderers events is all of the interesting and friendly folks who come to the walks. Today I spoke with a woman from Mill Valley about their path system, which is much more extensive than I thought. I’m excited to go check it out sometime soon. The Mill Valley Paths, Lanes & Steps map is available at city hall, the library, and the community center.

I’ve still been doing lots of walking, and have a list of various walks in the Bay Area that I’d like to do. Last weekend, Joe & I did one of them — walking the entire length of Mission Street from the Embarcadero in San Francisco to where it ends and El Camino Real begins in Colma. It is about 10 miles total. It was really a great walk going through a variety of neighborhoods, and interesting to see the changes in the street throughout San Francisco. Sometime soon I hope to walk all of Geary Street in one day across town, as I expect this street will provide just as many interesting sights.

As I’ve mentioned previously, this blog is only updated very periodically now that I have walked every Berkeley street & path, but coming up in the next month or so I’ll be doing a guest post for Local Ecology on observations about trees during my walking project. I’ll post here when that is done and up on Georgia’s website.

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Hidden Gems of Berkeley Walk and Bike Ride This Sat., May 10!

The Hidden Gems of Berkeley Walk and Bike ride is this Saturday, May 10. Click on the image above for details. If you cannot view the image for some reason, following is a description of the event. Hope to see you there!

Hidden Gems of Berkeley. Two Interpretive Tours – by Bike and by foot – of West Berkeley’s Vernacular Treasures and Grassroots Greening Efforts

Saturday May 10, 2008 – 10 am to 2:00 pm (bike); 10 am to 12:30 (walk)

Join us for the 6th annual tour of Berkeley’s eclectic fabric of gardens, paths, strange and familiar cultural and natural features…This year we’ll explore the many eclectic hidden gems of West Berkeley and the Westbrae. Join John Steere, Georgia Silvera, Susan Schwartz, John Coveney and guest historians/guides in this 4 mile ride through curiously historic and creative features of the flatlands. Bring a lunch, water, and your curiosity!

The bike tour begins at a hidden gem – San Pablo Park at its southwest corner (by Russell and Mabel) and will end at Codornices Creek’s restoration (day-lighting) at 9th Street. The walk tour begins at the Ohlone Greenway’s bridge over Codornices Creek just north of Gilman and opposite 1200 Masonic. Both events will meet for lunch in Strawberry Creek Park.

For more information, see attached; or call 510 848 9358 (walk), or 849-1969 (ride). Enroute you can purchase the Hidden Gems Map ($5) which depicts scores of these “gems,” along with bike routes, community gardens, creeks, parks and the historic transit system.

This tour is sponsored by Berkeley Partners for Parks (

And is co-sponsored by the Bicycle Friendly Berkeley Coalition (,

as a part of Berkeley Bike Month, by Livable Berkeley: (,

and by Whole Foods Market

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More Walkers

My sister, Erin, sent an exciting story about two women from Boulder, CO, who walked the city’s more than one thousand streets. Erin was living in Boulder during the time that I was walking all of the streets of Berkeley, and we had a couple of conversations about how it would have been fun if we did a joint project where she walked the streets of Boulder and we compared and contrasted what we saw and learned in both towns. Sometimes people who have not spent much time in either town like to say that Boulder and Berkeley are very similar, but Erin and I agree that there are quite a few differences between the two places. In any case, two women (ages 63 and 67) walked all of Boulder’s 295 miles of streets over the past year. My favorite part of the article was their pact that they would not cut corners and that they would walk to the end of cul-de-sacs.

As I have mentioned here before, I got rid of my car several years ago. Joe has a car, though it is mostly used for out-of-town journeys — he is also on foot and bike often. During the time we have lived in Berkeley and I have written this blog, we have slowly encountered others who live car-free or car-“lite” lifestyles. Nothing, however, tops the story of Angus Powelson. Joe has been taking the car to Oceanworks here in Berkeley for regular service checkups. He originally went to Oceanworks on recommendations from friends and glowing consumer reviews, but we were pleasantly surprised that Oceanworks also promotes fuel-efficient vehicles and driving less, is solar-powered and is a green business, and even sells folding bikes.

In conversation with Oceanworks owner Angus on his last visit, Joe learned that he has been car-free for a number of years! This may be one of the most unique car-free situations ever. In subsequent emails with Angus, I learned that he has a folding bike, fixed-gear bike, road bike, tandem, skateboards, push scooter, running shoes … but no car. I like to hope that Angus has influenced a few customers to drive a little less and consider other options for getting around. I don’t want to sound like I am advertising here, but I certainly recommend checking out Oceanworks if you live in Berkeley even if you don’t own a car. As I mentioned, they have folding bicycles for sale, and may even start carrying Dutch cargo bikes!

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If you are coming to this blog for the first time – welcome! At the end of 2007 I completed my goal of walking every street and path in Berkeley. Although I am still doing lots of walking around Berkeley and other places, I will not be doing much blogging here now that the project has been completed. I have been working on other walking and car-free related projects, but not anything yet that lends itself to blogging. If I do start a new blog or other web-related documentation, I will definitely post it here and will contact regular readers. In the meantime, please feel free to search and browse the archives of this blog.

Berkeley readers, be sure to check out Walking the Fault, Andy Datlen’s blog about “walks on, around, and across the Hayward Earthquake Fault where it runs along the base of the hills through Berkeley.” You may remember that I mentioned Andy previously; he has also walked all of the paths and streets in Berkeley! Another interesting walking blog is Beating the Bounds (thanks to reader Bernard for pointing me to this site), about a UC Davis grad student’s attempt to walk along the Capitol Corridor rail line. As you will see from the blog, the project was stopped by Union Pacific, but she may be walking the roads paralling the tracks. And reader Sabrina pointed out this interesting upcoming dérive, or wandering, in the East Bay starting on March 21 and continuing through the night (for related information, see my post on psychogeography and Theory of the Dérive on Berkeley writer and theorist Ken Knabb’s website.

Finally, the Hidden Gems of Berkeley ride will be happening this year on Saturday, May 10. This year this will be a bike ride and a walk! The ride will visit hidden gems in Westbrae and West Berkeley, and the walk will focus on locations in Westbrae. More details should be available next month here and here.

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Odds & Ends

  • The Berkeley Path Wanderers included an article about my walk in their latest newsletter [large PDF file].
  • I recently wrote an article for the Berkeley Daily Planet about some of the interesting places I discovered during my walk of Berkeley.
  • Another every-street walker, in Scotland! Follow Rob’s adventures at Walking Dunfermline.
  • And another walker: Wulf wants to walk every street in Hither Green in 2008, a district in the London borough of Lewisham. Follow it at Walking Hither Green.
  • And somehow I missed Walking the Streets of Forest Hill. Rob walked every public path in Forest Hill (which is also district in London borough of Lewisham), finishing in 2007. I’m excited to go back and read about the walk.

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