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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Maybe this path only looks closed

Written October 2nd, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The closed shortcut from South Albany High School to Ermine Street, the way it looked on Sept. 27.

Back in August, a reader’s question led to the discovery that an Albany ordinance provides for a shortcut between Ermine Street and 36th Avenue to be “permanently maintained as a pedestrian walkway-bicycle path,” which raised the question of why it’s been closed for 10 years.

Why? Beause in 2009, neighbors complained of unruly behavior by young people hanging around that 50-foot-long path. The council listened and decided to fence the path temporarily so people couldn’t use it. In 2010, the council approved a motion by Councilor Bessie Johnson to keep the fencing in place. No one at the time mentioned the 1975 ordinance )No. 3826) that vacated this section of Ermine Street but said the center 10 feet must remain a permanent pathway for people on foot or bikes.

Since the story appeared here on Aug. 18, nobody on the council seemed to react to this discrepancy between reality and what a city law says. So I asked Mayor Sharon Konopa, and she turned to City Manager Peter Troedsson.

Troedsson came back with this:

“In my opinion, the path is still open. There’s nothing keeping anyone from walking down to the end of the path. The City did install a fence at one end to prevent the problems associated with through traffic but could remove the fence at any time.

“Even if one maintains that a dead-end path is no longer a path, the ordinance doesn’t say it must be maintained continuously as a path.  It can remain closed until such time as the original problem is no longer present. If and when the City considers that the problem would no longer be a problem, the closure at the one end could be removed. Many of the citizens in the neighborhood are grateful for the elimination of the original problems.”

Ingenious, eh? (Actually, there’s a fence at the other end too, but people can go around it. When they get to 36th they have to climb a fence or turn around.)

Here’s a public path that hasn’t been usable for 10 years and will remain closed indefinitely. Does anyone think this qualifies as “permanently maintained as a pedestrian walkway-bicycle path”? If the council thinks so, they can let it go. If they don’t want people to think they don’t care what laws say or what words mean, they should either open that path or amend the law. (hh)



14 responses to “Maybe this path only looks closed”

  1. J. Jacobson says:

    That’s some catch, that Catch-22.

  2. Mac says:

    What a crock. Troedsson sounds like a shady politician. Makes you wonder where else he uses this type of shady practice behind the scenes. I can tell you I just lost all trust and respect for sure.

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    Why am I not surprised?

  4. Topher Hensley says:

    All safe and well lit pathways, walkway’s
    aka…. short cuts are appreciated
    while walking to and from one’s appointments. Considering the bus system is slow and doesn’t work for the community.

  5. Jeff Senders says:

    A response out of the Trump playbook no doubt.

    • Marilyn says:

      You’re joking, right?

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Thank you Jeff.
      It’s comments like that from the members of the Party Of Tolerance (POT) whose constant persecution will result in his reelection should he choose to run.
      How many 1000’s of accusations? How many apologies when they were wrong?
      Your accuracy rate is beyond dismal.
      Thank you.

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Starting to see cracks in that hypocritical R wall after 45s latest crime has been brought to light. You know, the shakedown of a foreign government for political dirt on his opponent. First Johnson and now Romney. Lookout below…

  6. Craig says:

    After reading this I am left scratching my head. Did I just read what I thought I read? Did the city manager just write what I thought he wrote?

    I hope a friend of the city manager reads this has a helps him out.

    Very embarrassing if this is how he really thinks.

  7. J. Jacobson says:

    “Well, some go this way,
    and some go that way.
    But as for me, myself, personally, I prefer the short-cut.”

    Cheshire Cat
    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  8. J. Jacobson says:

    This entire discussion is nonsense.

    Is the “path” under discussion owned and operated for the entire community, or is the locked-down path just another example of selective property-rights protection common to an era when local government overreach went rogue, restricting public ownership rights to publicly-owned rights-of-way in order to favor the alleged privacy concerns of a few privileged Caucasians who were able, thanks to White Privilege, to own canal-front property.

    The fact that a few rowdy teens occasionally violate norms does not translate into the City authorities shuttering-off public access to what are clearly publicly-owned rights of way.

    One way to eliminate teenage stupidity is to:
    1} don’t spawn children at all
    2} if you must, no more than one,
    3} pay no attention to the naysayers. They live in a fantasy fueled by ignorance.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      “3} pay no attention to the naysayers. They live in a fantasy fueled by ignorance.”

      So why do you bother posting?

  9. Bill Kapaun says:

    “Back in August, a reader’s question led to the discovery that an Albany ordinance provides for a shortcut between Ermine Street and 36th Avenue to be “permanently maintained as a pedestrian walkway-bicycle path,………”

    “Troedsson came back with this:

    “In my opinion, the path is still open. There’s nothing keeping anyone from walking down to the end of the path……”

    How about the BICYCLE PART?

  10. Bill Kapaun says:

    And to add-
    What about the PATH CLOSED sign.
    I guess we don’t need to heed ANY signs erected by the City?

 

 
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