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UPDATED: Bike rack's future on street in jeopardy

BEMIDJI - The future of the artistic bike rack outside of the Cabin Coffeehouse and Café in downtown Bemidji has yet to be decided.

The bike rack, uniquely designed by local artist Al Belleveau, consists of two high-wheel bicycles, one blue and one yellow.

Its location in a parking spot along Third Street Northwest prompted the Downtown Development Authority to consider whether the bike rack, installed from May 15 to Oct. 15, should be reinstalled next month in its current location.

The Downtown Development Authority, on a split vote taken Wednesday morning, intends to create a joint taskforce with city of Bemidji representatives.

The city manager, John Chattin, however, does not intend to take that route. Rather, he said, he believes the city's Public Works Committee will hold a meeting and listen to the pros and cons of the bike rack's location.

"We'll call a Public Works Committee next week and invite the various parties to intend," he said.

Mayor Dave Larson has the power to call for the formation of a taskforce if he wishes, Chattin noted.

DDA President Ken Cobb said the DDA voted to form a taskforce to be comprised of four DDA members and city representatives, such as perhaps the chief of police, public works director and a city councilor.

"The DDA did not make a decision on whether it would go up or not," Cobb said. "We referred that decision to the task force."

Cobb said the DDA does not actually have final say on the bike rack as it has for two summers now been located in the street. That decision should come from the city, "although the city does tend to defer to us."