Tuesday, March 16, 2010

request for readers: where can downtown get a cheap (or free) bike rack?

A biking culture is starting to mature in downtown youngstown.

To give just one example, you can see groups of cyclists going together from nearby neighborhoods and hanging out at downtown establishments.

One downtown spot, The Lemon Grove, is even generously offering 20% off one food/drink item if you can show you rode your bike to the cafe.

But one thing is missing downtown which may help biking commuters and biking enthusiasts.

A bike rack.

Maybe in a secure place, maybe covered from the elements, maybe decorated by local artists.

But the first step is to get a single bike rack downtown, as currently no such facilities exist.

Do you, reading this blog, know anyone or any group with a bike rack that would be willing to donate it to downtown?

Are there any closed/renovating schools with excess bike racks to donate?

Please leave ANY suggestions in the comments area on how to reach the goal of providing secure space for future cyclists.


Anonymous said...

With the new Business School intended to connect to downtown, perhaps YSU could partner with the City in buying a few bike racks? I would think that you need city approval to place bike racks on the sidewalks anyway. I will look for funding for bikeracks and get with the city...

Amber said...

When myself and a group of 6 others rode down last week we encountered this very problem. We chained all of our bikes together.... you would have had to have been very motivated to mess with our stuff. But we do not all travel in packs all of the time. This is something we are actually looking for to donate to The Lemon Grove and our apartment building. What are the odds the closed down schools have some we could use?

Andrew said...

Maybe someone could approach Tony Armeni and see if he would be willing to weld a Kick-A original install?

brookeslanina said...

i'm with andrew - there are tons of cool ideas for bike racks out there, and tons of artists who work with steel as a medium (tony armeni, daniel horne, and greg moring (bliss hall gates).

here are some examples of bike racks as public art:

in NYC (David Byrne) - http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/new-bike-racks-courtesy-of-david-byrne/

in louisville -

and finally, an artist app from DC (no date but i think about 2 years ago) for creating bike racks. YSU spend money to have artists decorate a bunch of penguins on display throughout the city...why not apply the same concept to functional art? If only 4 or 5 are commissioned, that's a project to accomplish for about $8,000 -

brookeslanina said...

oh which also reminds me, lemon grove has started an "Artist Enrichment Program" - perhaps they can funnel some of their funds to commission a bike rack, especially since most of the bike riders are drawn to the LG :)


Katie Libecco said...

I might be too simplistic, but with all of ythese schools closing because new ones. Have been built, and most of the oldschools had bike racks, does a local school district have one for purchase? I'd make a few calls to directors of facilities --- I imagine there's one somewhere close for purchase for cheap.

Robert said...

I know that downtown used to have at least one, possibly multiple bike racks back in the days of "Federal Plaza", not that this helps at all with the present situation, just some info.

John said...

in Pitt we have a new project where all you have to do is send the city a message if your a small business owner and they'll put in a bike rack. Its also sponsored by bikepgh so maybe you just need a group of bikers to stand up and get them to do it.
Otherwise just do it yourselves. Start a group. I'm sure if you look for help there will be a bunch of us bikers or walkers or generally awesome people willing to help major downtown a reasonable place to go

lemon said...

I am all for the Tony Armeni bike rack in front of the grove! We don't have much extra dough but maybe if he was willing to barter with us for a tab and we had a fundraiser for it, we could commission him to do it.

Maggie said...

There are neighborhood success grants available through the Wean Foundation. They are usually for $5,000. Given some of the inane "ideas", i.e. "God's Little Princesses", that have received funding, I can't imagine that they would turn down bike racks. Just need someone to fill out the grant application. As usual, Deb Weaver is the one to ask about this:)

Jennifer said...

Neighborhood SUCCESS Grants, a program of The Raymond John Wean Foundation support small, resident-driven community development projects. These projects are intended to improve the quality of life in Warren and Youngstown neighborhoods. Many of the ideas expressed on this blog i.e. increasing meaningful resident participation and leadership, building on assets which exist in the community and encouraging cooperation and collaboration amongst residents, organizations and institutions are what the Grant Making Committee looks for when considering funding. A unique aspect of the program is the final funding decisions are made by this resident-driven committee. They work really hard to discover/uncover a wide range of projects that ordinarily may not be considered for other grants(that includes "God's Little Princesses", a project which, by the way, is meeting all of its goals and whose leaders have proven to be good stewards of the funds). The next deadline is September 15. See the website at www.rjweanfdn.org and then call Jennifer at 330 394 3203 for more information if needed. Peace.