Walking The Walk 13

“There is this to be said for walking: it is the one method of human locomotion by which a man or woman proceeds erect, upright, proud and independent” -Edward Abbey

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A lot of folks talk the talk, but they soon may be able to walk the walk.

In the discussion stages during the late naughts, the plan for a walking path in Oakland was brought before the town council in 2009 by the Oakland Recreation Commission.

Working in conjunction with a member of the Shade Tree Commission, their plan described a path around the Oakland recreation complex. The concept is similar to one already in place in Franklin Lakes, one being considered in Wyckoff, and numerous other suburban towns seeking to expand recreational opportunities beyond organized sports.

According to council member Coira, who spoke of the project during the last council meeting, the Sports Association of Oakland will be earmarking all the profits from the Oakland Town Carnival towards the building of the walking path. A posting on the Oakland Recreation website describes the route of the path, and the accompanying map is based on that description.

Expanding traditional efforts focused on organized sports, the proposed walking path will provide a resource for demographics not normally served. Senior citizens will be able to pursue a natural and low impact form of exercise, and parents with strollers will find the walking path a welcome addition.

The physical benefits of walking – which has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise regimen –  are expansive. A positive impact has been shown on blood pressure, sugar levels, lipid profile, and body weight. Walking has also been associated to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

Studies have also indicated that walking can alleviate the disease progression, or symptoms, of Alzheimer’s, a disease with no known cure at this time. Some researchers point to evidence that the regular exercise improves oxygen flow to the brain.

The average person’s brain also benefits from walking. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that antidepressant use has risen nearly 400% since 1988, and moderate exercise has shown to help with depression.Walking outdoors provides the additional benefits of fresh air, visual stimuli, and social interaction which enhance the purely physical attributes of exercise.

Oakland, located at the foot of the Ramapo mountains, offers numerous opportunities for residents to hike outdoors; and, it’s hilly terrain provides the town with a unique landscape. But these benefits can can make a simple walk a challenging endeavor to the less physically fit, the elderly, or those with small children. The proposed walking path opens up an opportunity for expanding recreational opportunities for all residents.

While many people have been talking the talk, it’s walking the walk that makes it real.


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13 thoughts on “Walking The Walk

  • Ryan Schwertfeger

    If a walking path is put in along the river from Pleasureland, this could be a great end point! Looking forward to seeing the progress!

  • Mike R

    what they should do is pave the parking lot !

    Editor’s Note: Unfortunately due to environmental reasons the parking lots cannot be paved so as to keep the ground a water permeable surface.

  • Andrea

    Oh this is so great! I wish we had this when my kids were in a stroller. Can’t wait!

  • Michael Costello

    As a resident and local runner, I would love to see this project extend further than this one loop. Many of the roads in Oakland are not very safe to run or walk on. This loop is a great start though.

  • Howard

    Why is everyone getting so excited about a walking path? We already have one and it’s called sidewalks. Every day I see people and kids walking them either going to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard or heading up to Tony Brothers for a slice of pizza. Let’s come up with something better then a path where the mosquitoes will have a feast on the young and old.

  • Fred S

    It’s a shame some people will find the negative in everything. I think one of the problems with Oakland is the lack of side walks, as Mr. Costelos points out below. What a great idea the walking path! Fresh air, healthy living and fun, I can’t wait for it to finally happen!

  • Jim

    This is a great idea and use of non-taxpayer dollars that 100% of the borough residents can take advantage of. Plus there is no traffic or crosswalks for people to deal with, making it even more enjoyable and easy to navigate. If the Rec Stand is open, then people can stop there and support the non-profits that run it for the good of our town.

  • Howard

    I just read on TheOaklandJournal.com that someone suggested a “Childrens Sprinkler Park” in place of a “walking path”. Now that makes more sense to me because it would give our children a place to cool off during those “hazy, hot and humid” days of summer.

    Editor’s note: We do not believe this was mentioned anywhere on The Oakland Journal until now.

  • Rich M.

    Now that we know that the Public Events Committee has been sitting on a 100K+ in their trust maybe they can share some of it for the walking path.

  • Howard

    The Borough of Oakland controls the 100k+ raised by the Public Events Committee. They are the one you should direct your request to. The P.E.C. receives a yearly “allowance” which is used to run all of the town events except for the Memorial Day Parade and fireworks display on the last day of the carnival.

  • Peter

    I think you might want to read the April 4th budget meeting minutes on the town website Howard.

  • Howard

    Yes , you are right and I stand corrected. There could be enough money in the trust fund to do both projects, a walking path and a childrens sprinkler park. I guess all it would take is both the town and public events committee to agree.

  • Hallie

    Ryan – this might sound like a good idea if you don’t live along the river. Most, if not all of the riverfront area is privately owned. I hope the town isn’t going to start trying to ‘steal’ this property from the owners like it did during Mayor Piccoli’s time.

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