This process generated a final design concept in February 2021. The final design is expected to be ready for approval by March 2022. A phased approach to construction will allow for individual projects to be built over time. Pending final review, approval, and permitting, it may be possible to begin construction of individual projects as soon as Spring 2022.
Third (Online) Open House – February 26, 2021
Second (Online) Open House Overview
Available Online: May 28 – June 16
The online open house was designed to allow the public to review proposed Albany waterfront concepts and offer feedback on features, activities, and overall design.
Due to Covid-19 public gathering restrictions, an online open house was used instead of an in-person event. The website was hosted at openhouse.jla.us.com/albany-waterfront2 and was promoted as a link from the project website from May 28 – June 16, 2020.
The online open house website included five pages: Background, Monteith Park, Dave Clark Trail, Water Avenue, and Next Steps. Each of the three project-area pages included sub-pages with additional information about the proposed concepts. Three concepts were presented for Monteith Park, two for the Dave Clark Trail, and one for Water Ave. Participants were able to review the key features of each concept, view maps and imagery, and provide feedback about the elements that they preferred within each concept. The Next Steps page provided an opportunity for additional comments
The open house was originally set to close on June 14 but was extended by two days.
Attendance and Response
533 unique IP addresses were recorded as visiting the online open house between May 28 and June 16. Online visitors submitted a total of 144 comment forms.
Respondents viewed the proposed concepts positively, with many expressing appreciation and enthusiasm for the waterfront project.
Each of the three proposed concepts were viewed positively by at least 61% of respondents. The “Community Loops” (A) concept had slightly more positive responses (65%) and the fewest negative responses (15%), though “Community Hub” (C) was perceived as having the best overall approach to form and style. “Meeting Place” (B) had the most negative responses (23%) and the fewest preferred design approaches. Respondents preferred:
- Park Access approach of “Meeting Place” (B) and “Community Hub” (C).
- Amphitheater and Stage approach of “Meeting Place” (B).
- Play Area approach of “Community Hub” (C).
- Water Feature approach of “Community Loops” (A).
- Pathway and Circulation approach of “Meeting Place” (B) and “Community Hub” (C).
- Water Access approach of “Community Loops” (A) and “Community Hub” (C).
- Overall form and style of “Community Hub” (C).
Commenters provided additional feedback about the importance of providing parking to support the park and provide access to events. Some of the most mentioned design elements included a new playground, water feature, and safety improvements. Concerns tended to focus on impacts to the Senior Center, the location (and/or amount) of proposed parking, impacts due to flooding, and long-term maintenance.
Dave Clark Trail
Both concepts were viewed positively by at least 63% of respondents, though “River Views and Restoration” (B) had the most “very positive” responses (48%), the fewest negative responses (6%), and more preferred design approaches than “Community Art Trail” (A). Respondents preferred:
- Multi-Modal Trail approach of “Community Art Trail” (A) (slight preference).
- North/South Connections approach of “River Views and Restoration” (B) (slight preference).
- Pocket Parks approach of “River Views and Restoration” (B).
- Overall form and style of “River Views and Restoration” (B).
Popular comments noted support for including art, cultural, or historical elements into the trail design. A similar number of respondents felt that the area should be kept natural. Safety and cleanliness were popular concerns. Other concerns focused on minimizing the potential for vandalism and maintenance.
Both proposed approaches were viewed positively by at least 61% of respondents though the “Plaza Street” had twice as many “very positive” responses (44%) as “Green Street” (22%) and fewer overall negative responses (8%).
Many commenters focused on the benefits of the Plaza Street design, appreciating how it can be closed to cars, and sought additional ways to optimize and increase access for pedestrians and cyclists. Concerns were generally focused on support or opposition to the amount of available parking on Water Avenue, along with providing adequate separation between cars, bicycles, and pedestrians.
First Open House – March 5, 2020
We heard your feedback
Thanks to the over 100 people who came to our open house in March, and the over 300 people who participated online. We were able to learn more about why you do (and don’t) visit the waterfront and what changes you want to see moving forward.
You told us that you want to
- Create better connectivity between the water, trails, downtown, and greater Albany.
- Add new and improved amenities and recreation space that attracts more people.
- Respect sustainability and enhance the natural river environment.
- Honor Albany’s unique community character and culture.
- Improve safety so that all users feel welcome.
- Review the design concepts
The design team has taken your feedback and worked with the city to develop a set of possible design concepts. Watch for our online open house at the end of May where you can tell us what you like about each concept. Your feedback will help shape the final proposed design which will come in late summer.
Project handouts, displays, presentations, and other materials will be posted here as they become available.