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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Adios, Powell's Bike-Book Rack. Hello, Progress.

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 1:44 PM

If you relish the sometimes-unwieldy experience of locking your bike to a book-shaped bike rack, maybe get your kicks while you can.

Powell's City of Books has unveiled a number of proposed upgrades to its storefront, including the removal of the large thematic art rack under the Powell's awning at W Burnside and 10th. The green rack is tough to park at, but, you know, shaped like books. It was a nice touch, if a bit impractical.

As first reported by the blog Bike Portland, the proposals don't mean the store's taking away net bike parking. Powell's hopes to do away with two parking spots on NW 10th, expand the sidewalk, and put in nine new city-provided bike staples. Check it out:

New Bike Parking: Bottom Right
  • New Bike Parking: Bottom Right

While there's apparently some nostalgia attached to the book rack, this change actually strikes me as a huge positive. It's another business embracing the notion that downtown's finite parking spaces aren't sacrosanct—that in fact commerce is better served by bike parking. Powell's of course, already has an on-street bike corral on its northwest corner.

Yes, the new parking won't be covered, but if you ride a bike in Portland you're more-than prepared for that. Or you should be.

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