Trail of the Week 20: Fairmount to Rockway Path (#55)

Fairmount to Rockway

Fairmount to Rockway [TJGehling]

This week’s trail is a true lowland alley. The Fairmont to Rockway path connects the small shopping district on Fairmount Avenue,  just west of Colusa, to one-block-long Rockway Ave. The path is barely 200 feet long and so narrow that it is better suited to single-file walkers rather than couples, and bike riders over the age of 10 should probably consider taking the long way around. The question might well be asked: why is it there? With Colusa to the east and Ashbury to the west, it seems as though the path would only be a shortcut for people living in the middle of the block of Rockway.

Smack dab in the middle

Smack dab in the middle [TJGehling]

But maybe shortcut was never the intention. Maybe it exists for the same reason many streets exist, to provide access to the buildings that open on to them. For nestled behind the businesses on Fairmount is another property that opens only on to the path. Officially it has a Fairmount address, which means that technically the path is part of Fairmount, or is at least it is to that point. The property is listed as an office rather than a house, but no sign identifies what  it might be. Years ago there was a photo lab there.

Rockway looking south

Rockway looking south [TJGehling]

On the other end it looks like nothing so much as the path to the front door of 7454 Rockway. Hedges and other plants impinge on both sides, and you could be forgiven if you didn’t immediately notice that it continues on past the house, though traffic on Fairmount usually makes itself known. But it is worth taking a look, especially if you like getting places that cars can’t go. Just for a moment, you can think of a time when our living space wasn’t designed around automobiles, and maybe hope for a time when it is like that again.


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