Our Handrail Corridor Is Finally Finished!

Celebrate the Opening of Our Handrail Corridor Saturday, Aug. 18

We are pleased to announce the opening of our handrail corridor: abouta mile of nearly continuous paths, between Euclid Avenue and Grizzly Peak Boulevard, all with handrails. 

Join us Saturday, August 18, at 3:00 p.m. for an inaugural walk and ribbon cutting to celebrate its completion. We’ll meet at the East side of Spruce St. at Los Angeles Ave. and walk .7 mile to the base of Lower El Mirador Path on Euclid, where the corridor begins and we will officially open it. Or, if you prefer, come directly to the bottom of the path at 3:30. Following the very brief celebration, those who wish may continue on the route, which includes the entire corridor.

Leading the 3.5-mile walk is BPWA Board Member Jacob Lehmann Duke, who suggested and then plotted the handrail corridor. (See the walk description.)

His inspiration, he says, were people like his grandmother, for whom steps can pose a balance challenge. Thanks to his idea, more walkers now will be able to access some of North Berkeley's most iconic paths. In addition to Lower El Mirador, the paths in the corridor are Martinez, Upper Covert, Whitaker, and Ina Coolbrith. 

The corridor also will serve as a key escape route in emergencies, making it safer to negotiate the steps at night or through smoke or fog.

The two lowest paths, Lower El Mirador and Martinez, are historic concrete stair paths that already had handrails. BPWA’s volunteers built the other three paths with timber steps.  

They finished Lower Covert in 2005, and BPWA had more than 300’ of handrails installed in 2017. Whitaker Path, built in 2007, and Ina Coolbrith Path, completed in 2008, just got handrails this summer. 

The new handrails cost almost $35,000. Money for them and the steps came from the sale of BPWA’s Berkeley and Its Pathways map and other merchandise as well as from donations.