A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

At Talking Waters, an added feature

Written May 30th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The new bike racks at Talking Water Gardens feature designs based on the site’s fauna and flora.

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)

8 responses to “At Talking Waters, an added feature”

  1. HowlingCicada says:

    “””… I’m hoping that “discourage” does not become “prohibit.” “””

    Me, too. I was there on my bike a couple years ago and remember feeling a little uneasy about legality, as I do in many places. I try to always be extra slow and courteous in situations like this to show bicyclists in a good light.

  2. Patricia Eich says:

    My husband and I went out there for a walk this afternoon and also noticed those racks. Very attractive. We also saw the rock memorials you mentioned in a previous blog and thought they were very nice. Not many people there at that time of day but we did encounter 2 groups of grade schoolers on a field trip exuberantly and happily enjoying their time outside.

    • Bryan says:

      Plus $300 in freight (I checked). Good to have something custom and local for $150 more.

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        Or go to a muffler shop, put a U bend in a piece of exhaust pipe and weld the ends to a piece of angle iron with a few holes drilled in it.

        • centrist says:

          I’ve always subscribed to “function first, form second”. The form that you propose won’t hold up long because the material is weak. The short term performance doesn’t meet the FUNCTION requirement.

  3. Melissa Sprecher says:

    I think this is absolutely stupid. Does anybody notice there is a metal fence right in the background and could surely accommodate many bikes pulled up along the side. There may be some places downtown where bike racks could be handy but these in the picture should be removed and put somewhere else because it demonstrates stupid by those spending our money. It was a mistake, however I doubt they will correct it by removing and putting them somewhere else. If you really need to spend the $950, a sidewalk along the fence could work very nicely.,


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