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Trashing Lakeside                                                                          <Back to Index

This is not a bike path or biking issue.
But, considering I started this website to showcase attractive photos of bike path scenery, what Iím introducing here relates to Fort Wayne scenery and whether or not recent installations make the area more attractive or less. Take a look at the photo below taken in the Lakeside Park area a couple years ago. Pay close attention to the other side of the road. Notice that curb and scene beyond. (The greenway bike path runs along the other side of those trees.)

 Bike at Lakeside - Scene of the Crime

For 30+ years Iíve lived in Fort Wayne, and this is what this location looked like. Being an artist,
Iím always looking for interesting angles and attractive views to photograph in an effort to convince myself that Fort Wayne really does have attractive features.  I also realize that how much of a subject is shown and the overall composition determines whether a picture looks ďespeciallyĒ attractive or not.  And no, not everyone agrees on what qualifies as ďattractive.Ē

However, Iím fairly sure many residents consider Lakeside Park one of the more attractive features of the city.  Considering all the talk about how Fort Wayne might draw more businesses and tourists, youíd think special places like Lakeside would be on the list of locations to groom. After all, it wasnít long ago that a lot of money was spent to refurbish Lakeside Gardens.

Recently I was appalled to see some additions to this area that frankly make me wonder what the city caretakers had in mind. Were they just being politically correct? Or were they trying to find a way to spend money? I have no idea who came up with the idea to install heavy galvanized guard rails where they havenít existed before, but I certainly hope these changes are only temporary.

Do you like the look of metal guard rails in a residential setting? If so...
Would you like to see more of them? Would you like one in front of your house? Should the city install them beside all roads? The photo below shows the new rail installed across the street
( Columbia Ave.) beside one of the ponds, making the top photo historically important.

     10010002 copy--Rail beside the street--630-px-wide

       Whatís worse, another rail graces the opposite side of the street, as you can see in
       the next photo.

     2--Lakeside Guard-rails-630 pixels-wide

So now we have something you normally donít see in a residential neighborhood stretching along both sides of the street. Behind the rails are the sides of an old bridge. And in the next picture you see just how odd this configuration is. Is this attractive to you? Am I the only one who would like to see this metal removed? 

     Lakeside pond  -  Bridge - Guard Rail

Iím tempted to assume that perhaps these rails were installed temporarily while the bridge is being repaired, but it doesnít look that way.  I see no printed sign telling us what the city plans to do. The heavy metal posts anchoring these rails look permanent and substantial.  Take a look at the questionable installation design in the next photo. Do we really want this to remain near Lakeside Park? The railing does not circle the pond completely. Why not? If somebody wanted to drive over the grass and into the water, it would be possible -- and has been possible for many years.

     3--convoluted guardrail construction--630-pixels

   It might have made more sense to put the rail between the street and the sidewalk to protect       pedestrians. But then most cities have few guard rails between the street and the sidewalk
   anywhere. The curb is apparently enough protection.

               This photo shows the condition of the bridge over which these guard rails pass.
     Old Bridge and offensive rails at Lakeside

As I look at this photo, the thing that bothers me most is that the cost of those rails, plus installation, would have probably been enough to upgrade the appearance of the bridge to put it on a par with Lakeside Gardens. At the least, I would like to know the total cost of the rails themselves AND the installation. Nevertheless, for me the bottom line is: Are these guard rails necessary? And if the city thinks theyíre absolutely necessary, I would like to know why since they havenít been needed in the past.

Standing next to the bridge and looking toward Lakeside Park you see what is shown in the next picture. Wouldnít it be a great idea to get busy and upgrade the bridge to match this kind of scenery? (and also yank out the rails? )

     Lakeside in the Fall - A Beauty Spot

I wonder if the next photo will remain only a piece of historical evidence of the many years the bridge on Columbia got along just fine without a heavy metal guard rail.

   Lakeside bridge WITHOUT heavy metal--630pixels-wide

Yes, believe it or not, the right hand side of this picture is where one of those galvanized rails
has taken root.  The left side of the concrete bridge is seen in this photo between the sign post and the large dark tree trunk.

The Tecumseh Bridge - Restored to itís former glory
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