It was almost like spring on the last day of February, a fine day to take a look at one of Albany’s neighborhoods.
Not that there’s anything sensational to see. Just people going about their business on a quiet Sunday in late winter of a year that was in many ways ruined by the pandemic. Taking a walk. Doing a little yard work. Maybe washing the truck. Otherwise, staying inside and off the streets.
This is Albany’s Oak Neighborhood. Oak School is in there. So is South Albany High School.
The houses were built about half a century ago. The ones I checked were built in 1965 and 1970. They all look fine, peaceful, in good shape. They look like people like living here.
This is not, unfortunately, the kind of living arrangement the majority in the legislature wants to encourage from now on. They want housing to be more dense, more people living closer together. They are forcing Albany and other cities to get away from single-family neighborhoods over time.
The majority in the legislature wants “middle housing” instead. On any lot where cities allow a single family house to be built, they will soon have to permit at least a duplex, and something bigger if there’s room.
Whether Oregon towns will still look and feel pleasant like the Oak Neighborhood in South Albany, who knows? Probably not. So let’s enjoy these places, and the life they encourage and permit, while we can.
That includes, when the sun comes out, cruising these mostly empty streets on a bike as the video shows. (hh)