HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Roundabout plan: ‘It’s too much’

Written February 14th, 2015 by Hasso Hering
Landscaping will do for the Main Street roundabout.

Landscaping will do for the Main Street roundabout.

Decorating Albany’s new Main Street roundabout with a circular wall and wrought-iron fence would cost nearly $130,000, and the city staff thinks the benefit is not worth the expense.

The issue comes before the city councilors and other members of the Central Albany Revitalization Area advisory board on Wednesday. The board last year voted to go ahead with the idea of a wall and fence around the traffic circle’s center island, along with lettering, but wanted to nail down the cost first.

The city got a quote from ES&A Sign Corp. of Corvallis, which proposed to do the work for $129,534.65. “When I look at where we have ended up in terms of design and the associated costs, I cannot recommend moving forward with this expenditure as I do not feel you, or the neighborhood, is receiving enough benefit for the associated price tag,” Kate Porsche said in a memo to the CARA board. She’s the city’s economic development director and urban renewal manager.

She said the Main Street area is a priority for CARA, but she added, “When I think of other ways in which this $130,000 could be used, I believe there is a higher and better use for the funds that would result in a more significant impact for the area.”

Without the wall and fence, the traffic circle likely will get landscaping similar to roundabouts on North Albany and Knox Butte roads. If the city wants, signs could be added later. The CARA board meets at 5:15 Wednesday afternoon at City Hall. (hh)


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7 responses to “Roundabout plan: ‘It’s too much’”

  1. Brian Holman says:

    Please no wall or fencing! Drivers need to see other cars on the circle. Landscaping only, grass, a few rhodedendrons and call it good.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Never underestimate the recklessness of some councilors when it comes to the desire to spend our tax dollars in frivolous ways.

    It wasn’t that long ago that Mayor Sharon Konopa and Councilor Dick Olsen voted to spend $510,000 on the Broadalbin promenade.

    $130,000 for a traffic circle is chicken feed in comparison. Taxpayers can only hope that sanity will prevail among the rest of the council.

  3. Craig Ziegenhagel commented on Facebook: You only have to look at the black tire tracks on the concrete that circles the roundabout and on the side curbs to see what will happen. Plant grass and end it. I believe not having taller bushes/trees/signs actually allows for a safer view of what the traffic flow is doing. At the North entrance to Salem on River Rd., Salem/Keizer have a similar “round” area that was decorated with landscaping and a nice sign…it was not long after it was built and wham….car hit it. What happens to the mind set of people when they get in Government (as far as spending $) ? They need to think more like a business person and be good stewards of tax payers money. Maybe I am expecting too much.

  4. Bill Kapaun says:

    Obstructing the view would simply end up injuring somebody.
    The design is already bad for bicycles in having a bike lane in part of it that simply disappears in other parts.
    Depending on which portion a bike rider uses, they may have to wait until a LARGE portion of the circle is clear before they enter it in order to reach a ‘safe” place before a car comes whizzing around. Disrupting the view is bad for everybody.

  5. Peggy Richner says:

    It surely must be fun to spend “other people’s money” but this doesn’t pass the laugh test. Our city government has taken leave of the little sense they started with if they proceed with this scheme. I say “landscape” with the idea of as little maintenance as possible. Good grief!

  6. Richard Vannice says:

    Kudos to Kate Porsche. Her recommendation to not spend so much on the project is to be commended. Now if the council will only heed her advice – sound advice is a something that should be listened to and followed. I’ll hold my breath till we hear from the coucil.

  7. Rhea Graham says:

    I love that round about and driving through it. I detour to enjoy a trip through it some times. I do hope everyone will write the City Council and tell them how you feel. Here is a wonderful link to get their addresses: http://cityofalbany.net/city-council just scroll down.

    My opinion is to leave it as plain and open as possible for safety. There is a lot of traffic traveling through there, and drivers in cars that sit low cannot see over and around plants, especially when we are height challenged ourselves. The intersection of Lyon and 9th Ave is the perfect example of what not to do with landscaping, those plants totally block the view.

 

 
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