There has been conversation about a bike rack in the Proctor District of Tacoma. It is important to clarify that the Proctor District is just that – a district. It is not a municipality. It is subject to the laws and ordinances of the City of Tacoma. The city has created a process for maintenance and improvements in each of the 15 districts. These districts are to be consulted but do not have final authority.
In this case the Proctor District Association did not know about the bike rack project until it was completed and was asked to approve it. It was not approved. The association believed that one of the concerns was whether it was an appropriate piece of art to place in the sidewalk right-of-way.
Also, the district does not take ownership of the art pieces that would include insurance coverage and maintenance in perpetuity. The district does not have the resources. An example of that is the Allen C. Mason plaza, which was completed in 2008.
That project could not go forward until some individual or group accepted ownership to provide liability insurance and take responsibility for maintenance. A separate district committee was formed to raise funds and complete the project after it had been approved.
This bike rack project might go forward if there is someone who will take responsibility for it and take it through the city’s process. The association has no authority, nor does it wish to prohibit that.
(Kester is a member of the Proctor District Association.)