Monday, March 12, 2012

City asks Kaffeklatsch to remove bike rack

The bike rack in front of Kaffeeklatsch on Lake City Way.

When Kaffeklatch owner Annette Heide-Jessen asked the City of Seattle for a bike rack to be installed near her bakery and coffee shop, the City's response was that the funding for the racks was unavailable at that time.

So she got creative.

Heide-Jessen asked the folks at Coyote Central, an art program that teaches creative arts to kids ages 10 to 14, to come up with something with personality for the sidewalk on Lake City Way in the business core.

She said the requirement the city gave her was that the rack they created not be a permanent structure and be able to be rolled into the building at night.

$400 dollars later the creation above was wheeled onto the stretch of sidewalk not previously known as a place where creativity is on display.

But during a recent visit by a city inspector she was told the structure was not to code and would have to be removed.

An overhead view of the rack.
According to the inspector, the structure must be 5 feet from the nearby fire hydrant. With a bike slipped into the rack, that 5 foot rule was being broken, he said.

He also told her that the rack needed to be 5 feet from the building and 3 feet from the curb. The rack appears to leave plenty of room for pedestrians on the sidewalk, however it only gives about one foot of clearance on the curb side.

Fortunately the structure is not permanently fixed to the ground and can be moved farther from the hydrant. But the width may not be so easy to deal with.

The City of Seattle has recently restored funding for bike racks and may be able to install a replacement near the business. However, the City's replacement would likely not have as much character as the the funky rack created by the artists at Coyote Central.

"We are going to try and make it work," Heide-Jessen said.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great little story; and the rack is charming (something LC tends to lack); I hope they can keep it.


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