I’d thought that Federal Hill was the only area of town that featured many shops, ample car parking, but nothing in the way of appropriate bike racks. I was wrong. There is also Wayland Square on Providence’s (fashionable) East Side. (sidenote: at some point in the early 90′s, it was required by state law to include the word “fashionable” whenever mentioning the East Side. I learned this from my Rhode Island Dictionary – required reading for any new resident of the Ocean State.) As an East Sider, I thought that bike racks would be available in every corner of our fair corner of the city. After all, through the awesome power of this blog, I was able to single-handedly convince 7 Stars Bakery to install bike racks at their Hope Street location. Surely, there must be bike racks in Wayland Square, home to fashionable restaurants, and swanky retail locations like Mrs. Robinson’s fine lingerie (*shudder*).
But no, there are no bike racks. One of my favorite restaurants in Providence is La Laiterie. I often walk there, but tonight I met friends after work, so I biked straight from the office. There were a few parking signs that I could lock to, but I walked all over the square looking for a proper bike rack. No luck.
Here’s where I parked:
I almost moved it, because I was afraid I was too close to the street and possibly could be hit by a car parking poorly. A closer look showed that I would probably be safe:
I saw 4 other bikes parked in the square, all locked to street signs. All of the street signs were embedded in cement, which makes them usable as a place to lock a bike, but still far inferior to an actual bike rack. There are 3 businesses that I frequent in the Wayland Square area, Farmstead/La Laiterie, Edge Cafe, and Haruki. I’ve emailed all of them with a link to this post. I’m hoping that one of the shops will take the time to consider installing a bike rack. I even found a perfect location between Haruki and Farmstead, in a dead zone of the sidewalk:
As I look for bike parking in various parts of the city, I always see disabled access parking. I’m starting to see those parking spaces as equivalent to bike parking. 30 years ago, there weren’t nearly as many disabled parking spots – now they are a regular feature of every parking lot. I hope to see bike parking become a regular feature of every commercial area. It certainly is in Portland.