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Where’s the $20,000 “Play” bike rack? —BS, Iowa City, via Facebook

It’s surprising how many people don’t notice a 25-foot-long, 8-foot-tall bike rack in the shape of the letters P-L-A-Y is missing until you point out it’s gone. Technically, it’s not a rack, it’s a “parklet,” which is a structure that not only offers large-scale bike parking (in this case, 40 bikes), but is also supposed to help beautify its surroundings.

The parklet has stood at the corner of Dubuque and Washington Streets across from the Ped Mall since October 2016. Except during the winter, when the city puts it in storage.

Even though winter is long gone, the parklet is still in storage, Iowa City Transportation Director Darian Nagle-Gamm explained to Little Village in an email. It didn’t return this spring because “contractors for the Ped Mall project are utilizing the commercial loading zone on Dubuque Street for the duration of the Ped Mall project.”


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