That’s a swell-looking new pathway along the Willamette River between Bowman and Eads parks in Albany. Only trouble: The thick layer of wood chips means you can’t ride a bike there.
Well, maybe you can. But it’s not easy. It’s kind of like trying to ride a bike on loose gravel.
The pathway roughly follows an easement the city got years ago to give the public access to the riverfront east of Bowman Park.
The late parks director Dave Clark had a vision of extending a riverfront pathway all the way from Bowers Rock in the west to near the Wah Chang metals plant, now ATI, in the east.
That vision died with Dave in 2002. But this easement remains, and the developers of The Banks apartments there were obligated by their approved site plan to “improve” the dirt trail that had been there before.
For some reason, maybe to hold down weeds, wood chips were the alternative chosen. Nobody asked me. If they had, I would have suggested leaving the trail uncovered. It was easy to walk on and great for bikes too.
From the east end of the wood-chip treatment, the natural trail continues through the riverside woods, across Cox Creek to Simpson Park. With luck, no one will spread wood chips there. (hh)