Sent in to WBE by Laura Hammond:
Starting next week, Eugene area bike riders will be able to experience a little art when they park their bikes at two downtown locations. The City of Eugene partnered with Lane Community College (LCC) art instructor Lee Imonen and his students over the last year to design and create three artistic bike corrals for downtown. Two of the corrals will be “inaugurated” with their first bike locking on Thursday, September 8th starting at 10:30 AM at 450 Willamette Street. The uniquely Eugene bike corrals reflect the city’s nationally ranked biking system in an artistic and creative way that also promotes downtown vitality.
A bike corral converts an on-street parking space or other unused curb space for bicycle parking. The two new corrals will be located in front of Morning Glory Café on Willamette and the Kiva Grocery Store on Olive, just north of 11th Avenue. Another artistic corral is planned in front of the Cornucopia Restaurant on Pearl Street north of 5th Avenue.
Combining the bike corrals with public art was inspired by the City of Eugene’s 2010 Public Art Plan which calls for integrating art into everyday objects from lighting fixtures to bicycle racks. The project serves a number of City goals including:
• promoting alternative transportation;
• incorporating art into parking;
• reinvesting parking funds where they are collected;
• increasing bike parking downtown; and
• reinforcing the creative, distinctive culture of downtown.
In addition, the project was another opportunity for the City to work with students in the community. While the City benefited from the donation of over a thousand hours of design work and labor from the instructor and students, LCC students got real world experience in helping shape their community. They also learned more about Eugene’s history and culture by researching the design concepts and locations.
Students in last fall’s Art 117: Three Dimensional Basic Design came up with nine different designs for the downtown bike corrals. The public reviewed and commented on the designs while they were on display in the Atrium and the Eugene Public Library during January and February. A selection committee composed of the City’s Public Art Committee, Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and other stakeholders reviewed public input and determined the winning designs.