(Editor’s Note: Adrian Florido and Sam Hodgson have been getting to know a different San Diego neighborhood daily. They spent Friday in San Pasqual, Monday in Nestor and Tuesday in Rolando.)

The eastern San Diego neighborhood of Rolando has something you don’t see built into many residential communities: shortcuts.

Rolando was one of the region’s first planned communities, and instead of leveling the hilly topography, developers just built on top of it. But that meant many of the neighborhood’s residential streets had to wind and curve, making a pedestrian’s trip from one part of the neighborhood to another a bit of trek.

So developers built a series of roughly a dozen catwalks — staircases or sloping pathways that make it a straight shot to get from various points A to various points B. They were built along narrow strips of public land that straddle property lines.

Gary Burch lives next to one, and says they make it much easier for people to get around the neighborhood, especially when they’re walking their dogs. In the mornings, his neighbors run up and down the staircase next to his house.

“We love them,” Burch said. “I know all the shortcuts.” When we told him we were going to walk around and try to find more of them, he joked: “Do you mind taking my dog?”

I reported from Rolando Tuesday as I continued exploring different San Diego neighborhoods. Have a story idea for me? Email me at adrian.florido@voiceofsandiego.org or call me at 619.325.0528 and follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/adrianflorido.

Adrian Florido is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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