Artistically designed bike racks may soon replace traditional ones downtown

Traditional bike racks may be replaced with more artistically designed ones taking various shapes to beautify the downtown area and potentially draw in more business. (Jessica Zook/DD)

Cupcake, city skyline and even robot-inspired bike-rack designs may soon be replacing the U-shaped racks currently used in downtown Phoenix.

Phoenix’s Edge Industries held an open studio event Saturday to promote community engagement and to bring artistically driven bike racks downtown.

The event was part of the “What Should Go Here?” project, which aims to bring public and private entities together, said Dorina Bustamante, Pedal Craft Phoenix event organizer.

Sidewalk Phoenix proposed the concept of developing artistic bike racks to display around downtown during Third Friday at the Edge Industries Funk Series, said Rob Izer, Director of Strategic Operations at Edge Industries.

“We want to get the conversation started that if there is something the community needs, they can really rally together and bring their ideas to life,” said Nicole Underwood, co-creator of Sidewalk Phoenix. “I want to have as many people to come out as possible to show their support.”

Not only will it beautify the streets of downtown, but the form of art may also draw people into the local businesses, said Susan Conklu, artist and City of Scottsdale Transportation planner.

“Having an artist design will have (the bike racks) stand out more,” said Conklu. “It will attract people to the shops and restaurants they are around.”

Edge Industries added Billy Hagey, a current resident artist, to the team to further the businesses’ ability to help community members bring their bike rack visions to life.

“I really like what (Edge Industries) are about as far as urban revitalization, adaptive reuse and creative recycling,” said Hagey. “My approach, and how I want to spend my time here, is to help people to be able to look at materials with the eye of an artist.”

The designs developed Saturday will be a part of Pedal Craft Phoenix’s event, held Friday as the next step toward artistically revitalizing downtown.

Participants at the event, Izer said, which will begin at Kitchen Sink Studios on April 20, will feature posters from 25 artists in addition to displaying any bike racks that are created at that point and will finish with people riding their bikes to surrounding locations that are currently biker-friendly.

The proceeds from the event will be put toward the temporary park that is to be constructed in a vacant lot on Second and Roosevelt streets, a project known as RO2, said Bustamante.

“We really want to develop the motto of live, work, shop and play,” Bustamante said. “We have the opportunity to do that in downtown Phoenix because of what ASU has brought to the area. We are all trying to come together and promote the greater good of Phoenix and elevate the brand.”

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  1. Thanks PhxDowntowner. That’s 2 down, 8 to go. C’mon other readers of the Downtown Devil… what are your recommendations for places that need bike racks. Your inputski is needed!

  2. Hotel San Carlos, U S Airways center(paying APS), Copper Star Coffee (ok that’s really near 7th& Indian School)