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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Flint, Mich., bike rack competition

Last, the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation conducted a contest to design bike racks that will be installed in the St. Louis area. Now the folks in Flint, Mich., are conducting their own competition.

The Flint Journal says this city's sidewalks could become home to some of the strangest - and most beautiful - bike racks ever made because of a design contest sponsored by the Safe and Active Flint Coalition and the University of Michigan-Flint Green Arts Project. Here's a quote from the story
"If we just put a bike rack up that's just a bike rack, then that's all it ever is," said Flint sculptor Todd Nickola, who fashions art from "found" objects in his workspace at Red Ink Studios. "The idea here is to create something where even if no bikes are connected to it, it would still be a piece of art beautifying the city. Who knows? Maybe then someone would even pick up the trash around it."
The design must consider the look of the existing streetscape in downtown Flint and be black in color, and it also must follow several other criteria -- including being able to support the bike in two places and to accommodate a U-lock. More rules and an entry form can be downloaded as a PDF file.

As Michael Moore documented in his film "Roger and Me," Flint has taken a beating because of the decline of the automobile industry in that city, but local leaders are trying to revitalize the downtown region. The contest is one small step toward that effort.

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