Scott Pirie’s rhetorical question of how many more thousands of people need to live in North Albany before another bridge is built across the Willamette is so appropriate, particularly at this time of year (Mailbag, Nov. 5).
Special events in the downtown area are great for the city and, when properly coordinated, great for the merchants. Many of us in North Albany have spent too much time sitting on a bridge of questionable integrity, or backed up on Spring Hill Drive waiting to get into Albany for shopping or other business.
If there is an event in the downtown area, put the police to work moving traffic. The back-up on the bridge can often push bumper to bumper traffic west of North Albany Road. On several occasions I have opted to turn right and drive to Corvallis to spend my money rather than deal with the aggravation of the bridge. I love the downtown area of Albany and want to support the merchants and other businesses there, but something has to be done to make that a more convenient option.
North Albany is a popular area because it has a rural ambiance with urban convenience. Commercial and residential growth on the west side of the bridges is going to continue, bringing greater dependence upon the Willamette bridges. In order to support it, city, county and state agencies must work together to solve a growing traffic problem.
Kenneth R. England
Albany (Nov. 9)