But because of our legacy approach to bike parking that makes it part of the sidewalk furniture, this sometimes creates conflict over uses, and since bike parking is sometimes still under fairly low demand, it has been easy and convenient for merchants to encroach on the rack zone with their own furniture.
|Seating and the bike rack at Christo's|
|The bike racks disappeared along with the trees|
|The bike rack got covered by a table often (2009)|
And for people who value a vibrant urban sidewalk life, we should have a good measure of sympathy for the merchants.
Sidewalk bike parking also conflicts with our ban on sidewalk biking in downtown. If we don't want bikes on the sidewalk, we should probably put our accommodations for bikes and those who used them where we actually want them. And at least downtown, that's in the street.
But we have nasty double-bind, actually: We have no effective provisions for them in the street, and we ban them from the sidewalk. It's made maximally difficult rather than easy! The real message encoded here is: Go Away and Don't Bike Here.
If we don't want people to bike on the sidewalk, and we truly want to make it possible to bike downtown, we need to create effective provisions in the street, and we should make it possible to park without leaving the street. And that means repurposing a few stalls for bike corrals.
Other Random Bits about Sidewalk Life
|The Old Vista Post Office|
The old Vista Post Office at Triangle and Liberty has seemed like a strong candidate, and Front Street has all kinds of candidates - though this area is pretty barren, and will likely need some redevelopment before warehouses start to be reused.
At one of the Truitt Bros. warehouses on Front there was a great concrete imprint, stylistically reminiscent of the Civic Center and all that 1970s brutalism.
|In 2012 this corner round from 1908 at First Methodist Church|
on Church and State looked like it was being preserved
Over at SCV a bit ago there was a note about the closure of the path along Pringle Creek from the Civic Center, under Commercial Street, and to the Boise project.
|The southside path along Pringle Creek|
at Commercial is closed to public.
|Southside access will be gated and controlled|
This is a disappointment and may represent a partial failure by City Staff to advocate effectively for the public interest. Ultimately, the City will need to explain why they could not secure an easement for both the south and north sides of the creek.