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Letter to the Editor: Albany's Treasured Waterfront?

Albany's waterfront deserves so much better.

[Editor's Note: Albany Patch would love your 300-word letters to the editor. .]

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the Albany waterfront regarding dog management and beach restoration.

The sentiment is often expressed to "leave it the way it is." For those who have not been to the waterfront recently, I would like to share some photos of "the way it is."    

No one is suggesting a formal or traditional park be developed, but a cleanup, some simple amenities and enforcement of existing rules would make this area more welcoming for all residents.

Without some attention, it is clear that , which belongs to the state and is administered by the East Bay Regional Park District, will irrevocably be changed in a relatively short time. 

The beach will be lost to sea rise and the shoreline eroded away. The East Bay Regional Park District , which should be considered – not rejected to protect the exclusive use of the area by a select few.

There are many amazing and one-of-a-kind art pieces along the shore of the Albany-owned Bulb, as well as hidden around the area. A solution must found to guarantee this art is preserved and a method devised for those unable to visit the “Gallery of the Bulb” to view these sculptures – perhaps through a photo exhibit near the beach.

It is time to have serious conversations about the future of with all of the stakeholders coming together to find imaginative ideas and compromises to create an area that not only keeps its character, but is sustainable, accessible and safe for everyone to enjoy far into the future. 

Without this discussion, those who are uncomfortable with uncontrolled dogs and unsanitary conditions, as well as those with mobility challenges, will continue to be excluded from enjoying this wonderful area.

papash March 28, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Caryl- Tahanks for the info and link.It's not clear to me what regulation covers the beach- on of off leash?
Caryl O'Keefe March 28, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Thank you Amber for your efforts to clean the Castle, it sounds like a public health hazard. Wonder if it would help to post signs saying "ONLY park restroom facility at Buchanan St turnaround"? About installing a restroom on the Bulb (land west of Neck), Albany's Waterfront Committee did discuss options for that recently. Until City staff liason to WFC reminded that the Bulb "roads" cannot accomodate septic cleanout trucks, particularly during rainy season. That may also affect where trash trucks can reach. Unfortunate realities. Amber, how are Bulb residents managing with the nearest restroom a half mile away? How about hot showers, fresh water for dog bowls, tea, handwashing? Have any relocated to more protected housing in this rainy season?
Caryl O'Keefe March 28, 2011 at 04:29 AM
Papash - you are welcome. Clarifying the beach regulation - no dogs on the Beach, even if on leash. This State rule is because it's a State-owned "bathing" beach. Albany cannot change that rule. It hasn't been enforced, due to limited resources and quick loss of signage, so many are surprised to learn that dogs are prohibited. State park rules were developed in public processes to reflect the needs of many park users and stakeholders, and are very unlikely to change.
Tatter Salad February 28, 2012 at 06:28 AM
So many well meaning but naive comments here -it's hard to know where to begin. To the OP: don't worry about the flood tides in the future wiping out Albany beach. While the Regional Park Department may express help here, please understand their interests are selfish. You see: they are in the 'Sand and Silt' business. For the last 45 years they have been taking money to allow the dumping of 'sand' along South Shore in Alameda. San Francisco pays to off-load 'sand' from the Coast Highway. But it doesn't stop there. The Fed's give them money for 'errosion control.' They, make money on cleaning up the sand they dump, and pass it off as 'natural.' BTW: much of the sand at Albany beach IS from sand dumped at Alameda (They look forward to the same scam at Albany Beach, If only they could build a parking lot in the way...) Regarding the 'Castle;' actually 'Mad Mark's' Castle (he built it); - any waste there is a result of visitors, NOT the residents of the area. EVERYONE is uncomfortable with 'uncontrolled dogs, unsanitary conditions'... particularly those living out there. They VERY much would like to see a monthly dumpster rotation, and the control of 'uncontrolled' dogs. Wheel chair access is another issue.. I don't see wheel chairs whizzing around the 'accessible' (and boring) Caesar Chavez park to the south of us; so that design IS NOT a goal... but yes, the locals out there would like some of the pot-holes removed I'm sure!
Paul Kamen February 28, 2012 at 07:24 AM
Actually, we do see wheelchairs in Cesar Chavez Park: http://www.BerkeleyWaterfront.org/photo-of-the-week/Photo020311.html or http://tinyurl.com/7785o4b On the other hand, this wonderful stepping-stone path on the south side of the Bulb would never be allowed under ADA constraints: http://www.BerkeleyWaterfront.org/photo-of-the-week/Photo040126.html or http://tinyurl.com/83xcskr Some balance is called for here.

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