Downtown bike rack designs sought

The Center City Association is currently accepting submissions for its downtown bike rack design competition.

The organization is taking artists’ designs for the competition to help improve the physical environment downtown, as well as to promote bicycle activity in the city’s core.

Center City hopes to have the artist-designed racks in place before the Miami Valley Cycling Summit, a one-day cycling conference that will help educate people about cycling, comes to Springfield on May 31.

The organization did a survey last year that showed the downtown didn’t have enough bike racks because cyclists were locking up bikes on both street signs and lamp posts.

“The idea of doing functional art just kind of blossomed out of that,” said Maureen Fagans, the executive director of the Center City Association.

Designs must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Jan. 25. The winning designs will be chosen on Feb. 15.

There will be two categories for the contest — factory-produced, which will be fabricated by local manufacturers, and artist-fabricated, which will be fabricated by the artists themselves. The racks must also support at least two bicycles among other design specifications. The fabrication and installation of racks is expected to be completed by April 30.

The artwork should also appeal to all audiences and reflect the community. They can also be designed to correspond with certain locations in downtown, including the Heritage Center, Esplanade, City Hall and City Hall plaza among others. The designs cannot be advertisements for businesses.

There is no entry fee and no limit to the number of designs an artist can submit, but all must be submitted separately.

Fagans said the organization hopes to fabricate at least six designs from the competition, but isn’t sure what the response will be. She said they’ve had a lot of interest from the downtown business community.

“We’ve had a couple of inquiries, but we don’t have a sense yet of what kind of designs we’ll get or how many of them we’ll have that can be fabricated into functional art,” Fagans said.

For more information and complete rules, log on to center-city.org or the organization’s Facebook page.

“We’re excited for what we hope will be some really fun designs,” Fagans said.

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