A rainy Saturday afternoon during the corona crisis may not be the best time to image how Albany’s Water Avenue could possibly be enhanced to make it attractive as a gateway to the Willamette River just on the other side.
Still, the street is a key part of the city’s hope for redeveloping the Albany waterfront.
A month ago the city began the public part of the redevelopment project with a well attended open house. Since then there’s been nothing new on the project’s website, http://albanywaterfront.net. That’s understandable considering how everybody has been busy responding to the contagion or staying at home hoping not to get it or spread it.
The published timeline calls for the city’s consultant team to come up with design concepts by this summer. If they can make that under the current emergency conditions, I’ll be surprised.
“Water Avenue and the railroad tracks are currently a barrier to accessing the park and river,” the consultants observe on the project website. Nevertheless, they intend to “refine and finalize an approach to improve Water Avenue.”
The changes they have in mind may include street trees, planting areas, sidewalks, better pedestrian and railroad crossings, getting rid of overhead utilities, something about parking, and features that allow parts of the street to be closed to cars for “street festivals.”
During these Days of Corona, public street festivals sound like the stuff of a far-off dream. But one can hope, right?
In the meantime, lets take a look at part of Water Avenue from the bike the way it looked Saturday: