ALBANY -- Bicyclists can ride to the waterfront and park safely, thanks to 12 new bike racks installed this summer.
The racks, located at the end of the paved path that leads to the Albany Neck and Albany Bulb, were made possible by a $5,000 grant that the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy awarded to community group Albany Strollers & Rollers.
"For most people in Albany, Albany Beach is about a 10-minute bike ride away," said Susan Moffat of Albany Strollers & Rollers. "It's really close. We're just happy that now it will be easier for people to find a place to park when they bike down to the beach."
Eight of the racks are standard sized to accommodate most bikes while four of the racks can accommodate bicycles with trailers. Amy Smolens of the Strollers & Rollers chose the design, which is constructed out of rebar.
Moffat, who worked with Smolens, John Alexander and the city's Waterfront Committee on the project, noted that Strollers & Rollers was born out of an effort to create a safer way for bicyclists and pedestrians to get to the beach.
"The bikepath to the waterfront used to go across the freeway onramp and it was very dangerous because at the same time as the pedestrian green was flashing, the cars also had a green light," Moffat said. "People who later became Strollers & Rollers advocated for a path under the freeway onramp that now exists, and that just made it a lot safer for people to bike or walk down to the waterfront and this is just one more step in connecting people in Albany to its beautiful waterfront."
The grant paid for the racks while the city did the installation. City Clerk Nicole Almaguer said the city was happy to work on the project.
"There's also connectivity to the Bay Trail there and the Buchanan-Marin bikeway project," she said. "That's significant connectivity to get to the waterfront area."
The task now is letting people know about the upgrades.
"We hope that lots of people will try out this bike path and also with the improvements on Buchanan street, it's going to be really easy and much safer for people to get from the neighborhoods of Albany down to the waterfront," Moffat said. "Once that's finished, when you combine that with the safer route under the freeway ramp and the plans of the East Bay Regional Park District to complete the Bay Trail, it's going to be great."