|[Almost totally hip and futuristic[|
So I wanted to give some shout out props to the Walker Art Center's semi-new redesign for putting so much bike parking conveniently right near the entrance to their brand new museum extension. Parking is one of the things that is a real clear head-and-shoulders advantage for biking, and so having ample parking near the door really sends a clear signal to cyclists (and non-cyclists) that "Yes! Bikes belong!" Having parking near the door says, "We welcome you, cyclists. We appreciate you and want to make sure we're doing everything we can to make your life easier, more pleasant, and more comfortable.".
Thank you Walker Art Center! You're leading the way!
Plus, the Walker is located smack dab on the busiest, most congested (freeway-horrible) place in the entire city: the "corner" of Hennepin, Lyndale and I-94, just over the Lowry Hill Tunnel. That corner is almost always choked with traffic. Also, its very hard to find parking there! So, it only makes sense that the museum would want to encourage alternative modes of transportation, and put their bike parking in a convenient place by the front door. Not to mention the fact that the Walker is certainly trying to appeal to young, hip, artsy people, trying to move past their elderly and wealthy Warhol demographic and attract a new generation of art lovers. So, I guess it only makes perfect sense that they'd try cater to the new bike-friendly generation, to people who love riding bikes in Minneapolis, and who love art at the same time. Of course they'd want to embrace people on bikes!
|[The Walker Art Center bike parking, conveniently located next to the semi truck.]|
Oh, hold on.
Hold on. I'm just being told that the Walker extension bike parking is NOT by the door. [adjusting radio earpiece] I'm being told that the bike parking is behind the building, next to the loading dock with semi-trucks, nowhere near a door or entrance to the building, completely out of sight from anywhere, difficult to find. I'm being told that the new Walker bike parking kind of sucks.
Hm. Ok. My apologies, readers! Please disregard the first part of this post. I seem to have been misinformed.
Well, that's too bad. Hm. (Once again, my optimism is out of control!)
On the other hand, I don't want to get too upset. I can understand the Walker's decision process here. It's not like there's very much space along Hennepin Avenue for bike parking. I mean, where would you even put it? It'd be one thing if they had huge concrete plazas along the sidewalk where you could easily put bike racks by the door. But, as it is, it's hard to see how they could possibly shoehorn a bike rack or two over near the entrance. There's just not enough space (what with all the symbolic circles of grass and important symbolic non-cluttered window'd facade space required for easy architectural advertising from people passing by in their cars on their way to the I-94 entrance ramp)!
Oh well, Walker Art Center. There's always next expansion.