On Sunday afternoon, I parked my car at the Record-Bee and slipped on some athletic shoes that I keep in my car. From there, I walked down South Main Street and followed the curve in the road to the Lakeport Library and back.
Most of the downtown businesses were closed, but Lakeport was far from deserted. In both directions along Main Street, I saw people out walking: some singly, some in pairs. One set of walkers was accompanied by a dog on a leash. The walking dog's passage through a residential neighborhood elicited excited barking from the dogs in residence. It was a happy reminder to me of walking dogs who have shared my life.
If you haven't yet walked the Lakeport downtown, you're missing an ideal route. It's nearly all flat and the recent roadwork that was done along South Main included brand-new sidewalks. Between Kmart and the downtown, there are now very few segments that remain unpaved.
In the City of Clearlake, Lakeshore Drive has heavy pedestrian traffic as well as mobility scooter use. The route hugs the Clear Lake shoreline between Redbud and Austin parks and connects with both Old Highway 53 and with Olympic Drive, two other main thoroughfares through town.
In nearly every community around the lake, you encounter pedestrians who make use of county roadways. Pedestrian fatalities along Highway 20 on Clear Lake's northshore prompted a multi-agency task force investment in a pedestrian safety corridor that included structural improvments such as signage and crosswalks.
Lake County Milers holds running and walking events around south Lake County communities, as well as downtown Kelseyville. And an American Volkssport Association walking group, Sacramento Walking Sticks, has established a year-round route in the Upper Lake downtown and countryside.
Now is an exciting time in Lake County to be an avid walker, as the county is planning to develop a regional network of trails. An interactive workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum on Main Street in Lower Lake.
The workshop on Jan. 23 is a followup to another workshop that was held in September. It offers residents an opportunity to give feedback about proposed trail concepts and ideas for potential connections. Attendees can also choose to take part afterward in a one-hour guided hike through Anderson Marsh State Historic Park that will be held if weather permits.
Part of this network, as envisioned by the county, would include connections to shoreline communities and amenities. How better to achieve this goal than to facilitate being able to safely and easily walk along county and city roads. Bike lane connections are an essential investment, as are curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements.