City repairing Pine Avenue - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pine Avenue gets a makeover

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For years, the area right across the street from the RiverQuarium has been rundown, but that's changing.

A couple of businesses are thriving there. The new art park is open, and a sidewalk improvement project is close to wrapping up.  

The block of Pine Avenue in downtown Albany across from the RiverQuarium and leading to Riverfront Park is one of the most visible downtown. 

But it was also one of the most rundown.  

"We just want to make some that are aesthetically pleasing, better access on the handicap and just public access up and down the park," said Tommy Gregors, Adica board member.  

The new art park helped bring new life to the area. But it also brought something else.  

"With inappropriate artwork on the wall, absolutely it just gives you a bad image," said Gregors 

Downtown leaders want artists to show off their creativity in the park, but they want that work to be the kind of art that attracts visitors rather than scaring them away.  

"We want the visitors to support the attractions, the skate park, Ray Charles park, all of the amenities we have helps bring people to the downtown area," said Gregors.  

The Pine Avenue Streetscape project is close to wrapping up. 

Jonathan Willis at the Levee Studios says the sidewalk improvements made a big difference outside his business.  

"Well it's easier to get to and from here, nice parking spaces, the sidewalks are really nice now, so you can see people walking around with not having to bypass different areas," said Jonathan Willis, manager, The Levee Studios.  

And while improvements are being made, with any work there are always challenges.  

"Like with improvements, there is certainly a time of challenges, there is not full accessibility there. Certainly when it gets finished it will be more accessible, better parking, cleaner in front of businesses and art park," said Gregors.  

Rainy weather has delayed the streetscape project to improve sidewalks and lighting on Pine Avenue, but officials hope it will be finished soon.

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