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Sunnyside Walk

After experiencing rain more often than not since the start of the year, Piedmont's intrepid Walking on Wednesday group saw that the forecast on April 3 was for cloudy skies. The clouds were dark, so there was some concern about whether there would be rain. In a quick poll taken of the 15 walkers last week, 60 percent (the optimists) predicted no rain during the walk. Realists voted otherwise, realizing that many of the optimists had umbrellas.

The group went down Magnolia Avenue, past Piedmont High School, observing workers preparing for the demolition of the Alan Harvey Theater and start of work on a three-story classroom building.

They continued downhill to the end of Magnolia at Grand Avenue, turned right, and went a half block to Sunnyside Avenue, their stated destination. However, the group was greeted by large, orange signs reading: "Road Closed Ahead: After postponing their walk to Sunnyside Avenue for weeks, the group was not going to let these signs stop them from visiting this street. They thought that the street would be closed, but the sidewalk wouldn't be and so they could walk Sunnyside they went.

They discovered that East Bay Municipal Utility District (EB- MUD) was replacing the water main down the middle of the street and the pipe's connections to the Sunnyside homes. There was some large equipment tearing up the street that was interesting for the walkers to watch. In the attached photo, the walkers observe some of the work. A friendly EBMUD worker said an 80-year-old pipe was being replaced. A "No Parking" sign said parking during the entire month of April would be prohibited on Sunnyside. Walking was fine, but driving and parking wasn't.

As the walkers climbed to the top of Sunnyside Avenue, the sun finally broke through the clouds, just like the name of the street. They enjoyed seeing the different types of homes including a lovely old Victorian, as they continued on to Lake Avenue. As the group went past Beach Elementary School, they heard music coming from a classroom, although no children were on the playground.

The walkers then went on to Nace and Howard Avenues, and then Cambridge Way, allowing Walking on Wednesday members to put a check mark by the names of a few more streets that they had walked in their first year of activity. Crossing Grand Avenue at Greenbank, they worked their way back uphill, taking a lateral route on El Cerrito to Magnolia Avenue and back to the Exedra. It was a healthy 2-1/2 mile workout in only an hour and a half, and for the first time in what seemed like months, the first time without any rain.

The optimists had been right.

One of the very last sections of the city the group has not gone to is the neighborhood above coaches field on Maxwelton Road. There is no sidewalk on Moraga Avenue or any other the streets on the hill above Coaches Field, so next Wednesday, April 17, as they mark the one-year anniversary of Walking on Wednesdays, they will meet at the Exedra and car pool to <Maxwelton and Abbott Way.

During their second year there has been an interest to visit some sections of the streets not walked so far.


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