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.
In 2012, a community path committee brought its findings to the KPPCSD and a motion was made, and unanimously approved, for the KPPCSD to take ownership of and provide liability insurance for the paths. See pages 15-20 of the KPPCSD meeting minutes from Jan 12, 2012 for the details of that discussion.
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.
We have created a 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!