The John Shinnick 84 Street, 10 Path Pledge
August 7, 2018
As a die-hard Giants fan, I felt compelled to see Mad-Bum pitch seven innings of shutout baseball only to see the offense only score one run while the bullpen gave up two. As a result, I didn’t start this walk until a bit after 4:00, but I made up for it by covering more ground than I’d anticipated. I had a general idea of where I was going, but made much of it up as I went along.
I drove down to the Kensington Circus, a traffic circle in the southwest corner of my hometown. On the map it simply shows as the convergence of Berkeley Park, Oak View and Colusa. It actually sends drivers in a circle to continue on the other side. This immediately led to an issue: was the circle itself a street? It has no name. Perhaps technically it isn’t a street, but I took the two minutes to walk around the circle and crossing all six crosswalks before heading off in a somewhat northwesterly direction on Colusa.
Colusa was a quicker walk than anticipated, and I found myself at its end; when it crosses Fairmount, it actually leaves Kensington. The map was ambiguous about this, but I poked my head into a medical facility on the Kensington side of the road just beyond Fairmount and they verified that they were in fact in El Cerrito. So I doubled back and turned left on Valley Rd., which is very short and quickly runs into the final piece of Coventry’s winding route. I turned left on Coventry until it dead ended. I retraced that little piece and continued to Berkeley Park Blvd. A right turn there took me back to the Circle.
I crossed the Circle to take in the west end of Oak View, just a few yards to it’s end at Santa Fe. Santa Fe is actually a fairly long street and a major route, but the Kensington part is quite short. Still, to get the full Kensington part I had to turn right and walk another several feet until it meets Colusa, turn around, and retrace until it disappears into Berkeley. There is no marker as to where Berkeley starts so I kept walking well into Berkeley and turned left onto Thousand Oaks. A short block later I made another left onto Curtis St. which a block or so later reentered Kensington, where it became the remaining piece of Berkeley Park Blvd.
Again I left the Circle, this time taking the last piece of Colusa before it left Kensington for Berkeley. This time the spot was marked by a large, official sign. YAY! I only had to backtrack a few feet before turning right on Ocean View Ave. I walked its length to Berkeley Park Blvd. As I crossed both Oakview and yet another segment to Coventry, I was trying to figure out the topology of the roads and the most efficient way to cover them on this or future trips. I rolled the dice and started uphill on Berkeley Park then right on Lexington Rd., which I followed to its dead end.
The Blue House. Note all the blue and white markings going up about as high as one can reach, and cover not just the house, but the mailbox, sidewalk, and even the car! Below is a closeup of the motif.
Returning to Berkeley Park I considered turning right to finish it off but decided against it and retraced it going downhill to Coventry where I turned left to pick up the next segment of it. I soon came to Eldridge Ct. and, after laughing at their overblown security measures, walked its length, retracing its short length. Across from its intersection with Coventry, I missed something, Marchant Path. Instead, I turned right and continued up Coventry. The map I was using showed neither the path nor all the street names. I soon came to where the map showed two short unnamed dead ends, but I only saw one, Kenilworth Ct. I walked its length, figuring I’d find the other soon.
Eventually, I came to Willow Ln. could this be it? Instead of being a short dead end, it soon had its own offshoot to the right, Marchant Garden. At this intersection was a house I remembered having seen years before but had forgotten where it was! A picture is worth a thousand words, so I took a couple and, now utterly confused, I pressed on. The road soon came to an end at Stratford Rd., which is part of my route from home to the Circle. By this time, Willow had become Richardson Rd., so I had walked the length of both!
I turned back and, at the distinctive house, turned left onto Marchant Gardens, another short dead end. I returned and retraced my way back to Coventry. At that point there was also yet another dead end, Marchant Ct. The end, as it turned out, was also where the other end of Marchant Path should have emerged. I didn’t see it, but neither was I looking for it. Instead, I got back to Coventry and began my final return to the circle. But as I passed Kenilworth Ct., I noticed a sign I’d missed earlier. It turned out that I’d mistaken Loran Ct. for a driveway. I’ll be shocked if it isn’t Kensington’s shortest street. I walked all fifty or so feet of it. There are all of two houses on it.
I then retraced the rest of Coventry until I got to Ocean View (which I’d already completed) where I turned left, walking a block to Oak View Ave. I walked its length, seeing signs that it was going to host a “Night Out” block party soon probably within the hour. But I had my own such party to attend and I finished the length of Oakview at the Circle. The weather was comfortable all day, but it was now past six and I was bushed!
Santa Fe Ave.
Ocean View Ave.
Oak View Ave.
Berkeley Park Blvd.
The YIMBY Project
Left: Loran Ct., all of it, probably the shortest street in Kensington, but I haven't seen 'em all yet!
Right: The security-conscious residents of Eldridge Ct.