Public footpaths throughout Kensington were originally established in the early 1900s and provided pedestrians more direct access to the street cars that ran along Arlington Avenue. Many of the paths continue to be used as shortcuts to residences and businesses, and are enjoyed by many for their wooded hiking and spectacular views. The paths also provide important safety routes for access and evacuation in case of a disaster, such as fire or earthquake.
In the past few years there have been renewed efforts by local volunteers to document, restore and improve the paths. Neighbors and businesses have been petitioned, plans have been presented to community groups including KPPCSD and KIC, and funding has been provided for construction and maintenance. However, lack of clear ownership and liability has made progress difficult.
A Little Background
In 2012, the Kensington Path Ad-hoc Committee (Chris Schelling, Bryce Nesbitt, Gretchen Gillfillan, Ray Barraza, Martin, Niki Kaiser, & Greg Harman) brought its extensive findings to the KPPCSD. In performing its assessment, the Committee looked at several key areas including: 1) Acquisition of the Paths, 2) Path Maintenance, Construction (on or of) Paths, 4) Liability and Risk of Acquisition, 5) Neighboring Property Owners, and Financial (Grants) in preparing this proposal. The Committee found no significant barriers to moving forward with path acquisition and the County has agreed to work through whatever complications may exist and offer KPPCSD clear title. This is all documented in the BOD package that was delivered with the agenda:
The KPPCSD Meeting Agenda for Jan 12, 2012 contains the presentation of the Kensington Path Ad-hoc Committee Findings. See pages 42-104. This includes Resolution #2011-04, a Resolution of the Board of Directors Regarding Community Paths on page 100.
The KPPCSD Meeting Agenda for Feb 9, 2012 contains the minutes from the Jan 12 meeting, including the details of the path presentation and discussion. See pages 15-20. This includes a motion, unanimously approved by the Board, “to accept the report of the Path Committee, and move to acquire the Highland-Kenyon path first with the intention of acquiring all the others as quickly as possible.” on page 20.
The Berkeley Path Wanderers Association are setting an outstanding example for stewardship of their paths and we continue to work with them and follow their lead.
Sign the Petition to Save the Kensington Paths as a way for residents of Kensington to tell the KPPCSD to make ownership a priority and get it done. Please add your voice!