By Jeremy Ogul
Residents gather for fun and feedback on foot
Twice a month, a diverse group of La Mesa residents get together to explore the city — on foot.
The Walking Wednesdays group is organized by the city to encourage residents to exercise, socialize and discover new recreational routes throughout the city. Most walks are between two to three miles long, starting at various points throughout the city.
The events are part of a broader effort to develop a network of walkable urban trails to help connect La Mesa residents to key destinations as an alternative to driving a vehicle. As individuals walk the route, they identify and document areas that need improvement, such as sidewalk obstructions or missing crosswalks.
The next walk will begin on July 8 at 9 a.m. at Jackson Park, 5870 Jackson Drive. The group will take an intermediate route approximately 2.4 miles long with some slight elevation changes.
On July 22, the group will meet at 6 p.m. at West Coast BBQ, 6126 Lake Murray Blvd. The route is 2.6 miles with slight elevation changes.
On Aug. 12, the group meets at the Lake Murray Rest Area at 9 a.m. This is an advanced, 2.6-mile route with uphill portions and a dirt path.
On Aug. 26, the group meets at Marietta’s restaurant, 8978 La Mesa Blvd. This is an advanced, 2.8-mile route with slight elevation changes.
Prizes and bonus points are offered to encourage people to participate and to document issues along the routes. In addition to the streets mentioned above, the city is also looking for feedback on the pedestrian and bicycle experience on the following streets: Amaya Drive, Severin Road, Center Drive, Grossmont Center Drive, Spring Street, Allison Avenue, Palm Avenue, Fourth Street, King Street, Lois Street, Waite Drive, Murray Hill Road and Gregory Street.
A steering committee meets every other month to identify the most effective approaches to active transportation along urban trails in La Mesa. The meetings are public and are open to residents, business owners, bicycle advocates, walking advocates and government representatives. The next meeting is scheduled for 9 – 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15, in the conference room of the La Mesa Police Department at 8085 University Ave.
For more information, contact program coordinator Misty Thompson at SRTS@ci.la-mesa.ca.us or call 619-667-1319. The group is on Twitter at @connectlamesa; there is also a group on Meetup.com — search for “Connect La Mesa.”