At Albany’s Talking Water Gardens the other day, I noticed something new: Three spiffy bike racks near the entrance. Is that supposed to be a hint to bike riders to leave their wheels behind and proceed on foot?
When I inquired with Albany Public Works, I heard from Joe Deardorff, a natural treatment systems specialist for the city.
“Thank you for noticing our new locally fabricated bike racks,” he said via email. “We installed these to enable visitors who want to opt for a healthier and more eco-friendly alternative to driving their cars to the wetlands.”
The racks were installed May 6 and feature designs that look like a dragon fly, a reed of some kind, and a heron. They were made by Magnum Metal Works, whose Facebook entry gives a Sweet Home address and says it specializes in plasma cutting and laser engraving.
Total cost for the fabrication was $950, which came out of the Talking Water Gardens budget in the city sewer fund. (From what I remember of other custom bike racks on public projects, that’s a very good price.)
As for cycling on the Water Garden paths, here’s Deardorff: “We have discouraged people from riding bikes on the walking trails due to the narrow corridors and limited sight distance.”
I can see his concern. But I’m hoping that “discourage” does not become “prohibit.” Maybe it won’t as long as bike riders take it slow and always show courtesy to the people on foot. (hh)