Public art bicycle racks gain traction in Boyne City
Four public art bicycle rack designs were approved at the Boyne City Commission meeting Tuesday. The structures would likely be placed at the library, summer farmers market, on Lake Street and on Water Street. (COURTESY PHOTO / June 12, 2013)
Designs for four public art bicycle racks in the city's downtown area have been drawn up by a design committee and approved by the Main Street board, planning commission and, as of Tuesday night, the city commission.
The four designs include representations of an apple, a stack of books, a juggler on a unicycle and a fork. Sizes of the structures range from just under 2 feet tall to 6 feet tall. The racks would be secured into cement pads, all with the same bolt structure for easy removal or to be swapped out with one another.
Possible locations for the racks include the Boyne District Library, Veterans Park, the southwest corner of the Water and Park Street intersection, the Lake and Main streets intersection, Sunset Park and the pedestrian bump-out at the intersection of Lake and Ray streets. The public art will replace existing bicycle racks that will consequently be moved to other areas of town, adding to the numbers and locations of places to park bicycles.
The total projected cost of having the racks made and installed is $4,000. $1,500 of that will be covered by a grant from the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and the rest will be paid for by the Main Street program.
City commissioners voted 3-1 in favor of the designs Tuesday. Commissioner Derek Gaylord was opposed.
"The idea is to create this sense of place, to have something unique to Boyne City," explained Main Street Manager Hugh Conklin when presenting the designs to the commission.
"We wanted to create elements that people would be able to stand next to, take pictures next to," added Erin Place, one of the committee members involved in the design. They hope the art can serve as identifiable markers within the downtown area, he explained.
"The first two I'm in big favor of; the juggler, luke-warm; the fork, no. It seems too brash and in your face... I think that one in this immediate downtown area is probably a little too out there," said Gaylord explaining his vote against the designs.
Commissioner Laura Sansom also said she favored some of the designs over others and suggested that more coherence among the styles of all four could be more attractive, but the commissioner ultimately voted to support the designs. Sansom also suggested that the city should look into installing additional bicycle racks that are more "utilitarian."
"What's brought us out of the doldrums, as a city, is being willing to take a chance on new ideas and I personally like all four of them myself," said Mayor Ron Grunch of the designs.
"I think they're cool, they're fun, they're creative ... I think, let's do it," said Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce director Jim Baumann during public comment, voicing his support of the public art.
The next step will be for the Main Street manager to send out a request for bids from companies interested in manufacturing the racks.
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