• Golden Days of East Bay Mass Transit

    by  • January 13, 2012 • 0 Comments

    This is a nice follow up to the film clip of a ride on a 1906 Key Route System line. It shows a number of Key Route and Interurban Electric Railway (IER) trains in locations you are sure to recognize, including the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. It provides a good sense of what a rich transportation network was in place before autos finally pushed mass transit into the background.  While the film doesn’t go into much detail, it also touches on the provisional railway that was fashioned from discarded  parts used to transport workers to the Richmond shipyards during the war. Last but not least, there are some nice shots of Treasure Island in its heyday.

    You can find some interesting stills of the Key System on this excellent site.



    Waking Up In Berkeley

    by  • January 3, 2012 • 0 Comments

    It’s a typical weekday morning. At 5:30, the clock-radio kicks in. I have yet to determine what I’m hearing. Maybe I’ll be tazed by a screeching Sun Ra freestyle romp that threatens to catapult me out of bed. Or repeatedly nudged by a Native American chant that goes on a just little too long. Startled, […]

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    30 Minute Walks: Southeast — Oakridge

    by  • November 23, 2011 • 0 Comments

    Oakridge Steps

    As noted in the Every Body Walk! video in the post Walk 30 Minutes = Extend Your Life, walking 30 minutes a day can profoundly improve your life and longevity. “Okay,” you say, “I walked around the block twice this week but that gets old fast. A ‘recipe book’ of 30 minute walks would help […]

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    Walk 30 Minutes = Extend Your Life

    by  • November 10, 2011 • 0 Comments

    Take just a few minutes to watch this video by Everybody Walk to see all the benefits you can realize from walking for as little as 15 minutes, two times a day. Walk more, walk faster — those benefits increase. Walk at least that much and you’ll be extending your life by years. And you’ll be a happier person. Visit Everybody Walk for more information about ways to incorporate walking in your everyday routine.

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    Lunch In The Brennan’s Time Machine

    by  • November 2, 2011 • 0 Comments

    Brennan's Entrance

    I’m increasingly perplexed by the new Brennan’s. I realize this as I’m waiting in the food line for my sandwich. I’ve been here quite a few times since they moved but I’m alone today. Maybe I’m just feeling sentimental. A young woman is slicing meat for my sandwich. She’s very pleasant but she moves slowly […]

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    Alternative Transportation Under Fire

    by  • October 27, 2011 • 0 Comments

    A war is raging in the halls of Congress at the moment over preserving a block of federal funding for Transportation Enhancements, or TE in the lingo of the public policy cognoscenti.  As explained on a Department of Transportation website, “The transportation enhancements program provides for the implementation of a variety of non-traditional projects, with […]

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    Berkeley: Filtered Permeability Pioneer?

    by  • October 24, 2011 • 2 Comments

    Bollards, Delaware St.

    Since the mid-1960s, when the first traffic diverters were installed to protect the area around San Pablo Park, residents and pundits alike have dissed the concrete bollards that dot many of Berkeley’s neighborhoods. Drivers who find themselves redirected in concentric circles around their intended destination question the sanity of the traffic engineers responsible for their […]

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    Walking on the Wild Side: Covert Path

    by  • October 17, 2011 • 0 Comments

    Switchback, Lower Covert

    Approaching Covert path from it’s highest point on Keeler Ave., it’s easy to mistake it for a pleasant but not particularly wild path. Guarded and obscured by the outstretched branches of an old pine, Upper Covert sneaks along the side of a neighboring house and meanders along a gentle, grassy slope. Halfway down the 164 […]

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    Riding Berkeley’s Key System Trains, 1906

    by  • September 29, 2011 • 2 Comments

    Screen shot 2011-09-29 at 10.51.58 AM

    Shot just over a month after the great 1906 earthquake decimated much of San Francisco, this film shows Berkeley at the beginning of a boom that would continue until roughly 1920. It begins on the northbound #3 Oxford St. trolley near Berkeley Way. The camera person changes cars at Hearst St. and boards an eastbound […]

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    Are Paper Maps Becoming Obsolete?

    by  • September 26, 2011 • 4 Comments

    Paper Maps

    In the Practical Tools for Walkers series, I explained how to use commonly available tools and techniques to record and share walks. Does that mean the era of the paper map is coming to an end? Will Google Maps replace the likes of USGS, AAA, and Rand McNally? It’s a fair question and a topic […]

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    2011 National Walking Survey Summary

    by  • September 22, 2011 • 0 Comments

    The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals recently hosted a webinar to review the findings of a walking survey conducted by America Walks. America Walks is a national coalition founded in 1996 to unite and assist local advocacy groups in improving the walkability of their communities and to “create a national unified voice for pedestrians.” […]

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    Practical Tools For Walkers — Part 2

    by  • September 18, 2011 • 0 Comments

    A spatial Network. By IDRC/ Telecentre.org (IDRC/ Telecentre.org) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

    In the first part of this three part series, we examined some basic tools a walker might use to aid navigation and calculate distance. This part will cover using the GPS capabilities of a smartphone (or, optionally, a handheld GPS unit) to record your route during a walk. We’ll cover a few technical basics, show […]

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