Ithaca Community Bike Rack Design Competition- ROUND TWO

Ithaca Community Bike Rack Design Competition- ROUND TWO

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2020

Contact for more information.

Winners Announced: November 2020

 The Downtown Ithaca Alliance and the City of Ithaca are looking for creative bike rack designs! Even a bicycle rack can be transformed into a work of art in a marriage of form and function. Twelve (12) highly visible locations in Downtown Ithaca and Collegetown have been proposed for bike rack installation, and we will be choosing twelve different designs. Everyone is encouraged to submit a proposal—we’re hoping for full community participation.

ENTRANTS: Submissions will be accepted from any individual or group. Youth, students, women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and elders are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals may submit up to three designs. Collaborations are accepted. Winners will not be responsible for fabrication or installation—see below for more information.

SELECTION: A design review jury composed of bicyclists, artists, program sponsors, and other community members will work with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and the City of Ithaca and will be responsible for selecting the winning designs. Submissions will be ranked “blind” (without name or title appended). Designs will be judged on functionality, artistic innovation, creativity, and “fit” with location (if applicable).

Designs reflecting an aspect of Ithaca and Tompkins County’s unique culture, history, and characteristics of place are particularly encouraged.


  • A reception and tour will be held when the bike racks have been fabricated and installed. Winners will be notified by email in July.
  • Cash prizes will be distributed among the most creative, innovative entries:
    • One first prize – overall: $100
    • One first prize – youth: $100
    • One second prize: $50
    • Up to ten third prizes: $25 each
  • Artists of installed designs will be recognized with the winner’s name & bike rack title displayed on or by the rack.


  • DESIGN WORKSHEET: All designs must be submitted on the provided Artwork Submission Application    
  • DIMENSIONS: Draw within the provided worksheet! Drawing outside the grid of the design worksheet will result in the design’s disqualification. Racks should be at least 30” high. There should be two roughly vertical elements that are spaced about 20” to 30” apart that serve to support the parked bikes. The racks should be between 2-4’ long with a maximum of 6’. Racks should be flat/two-dimensional. 
  • CONTENT: Bike rack designs cannot directly advertise or advocate for any particular entity, organization, or cause. 
  • Winning designs must be appropriate for use in the public domain. 
  • MATERIALS AND LINE WIDTHS: Bike racks will be fabricated using steel tubing and solid steel bar. The metal blacksmith artist will determine how best to translate winning artists’ design concept into a functional rack. Racks will be galvanized for durability and hand-painted for beauty.
  • MOUNTING: To ensure that the racks can be securely mounted to the hardscape, designs must intersect with the ground plane in at least two (2) points. 
  • COLORS: There are 20 color options you can choose from. Artists may use any three of the options below. Or, choose a custom color by giving the RAL color code on the design sheet.

  •  SAFETY: There should be no sharp or dangerously protruding portions on the bike racks. Racks should not pose a hazard to blind or inattentive pedestrians.


It is important that the bike racks be functional as well as sculptural/aesthetic in nature. 

  • Accommodate a minimum of 2 bicycles upright by their frames 
  • Enable the frame and one of the two wheels to be secured using a standard u-lock 
  • Provide locking points that are between one foot and 3 feet above the ground 
  • Include no sharp edges or potential safety hazards 
  • Provide a gap near the bottom for pedal clearance 
  • Designs that support bicycles by one wheel only, or at only one point of the bicycle, are not acceptable.

SUBMISSIONS: Individual artists may submit up to three entries. Designs can be for a specific location (and themed accordingly), but no location is guaranteed (see proposed locations at the bottom of this information sheet)

Submissions should be made as follows

  • Worksheet: All designs must be submitted on the attached worksheet. Winning designs will be fabricated using the scale measurements on the worksheet. 
  • White Background: In an effort to keep all of the designs consistent, we request that designs be submitted on a simple white background. No background images, please. 
  • Format: Designs may be submitted either digitally or in hard copy. 

   No three-dimensional models will be accepted

      • Digitally: Digital files should be sized to 8.5” x 11” at 72dpi and emailed in JPEG format
      • Submissions must include artwork submission form.  Click Here to Download Form
  • Hard Copy: delivered to Downtown Ithaca Alliance, Center Ithaca, 171 E. State St. PMB #136, Ithaca, NY 14850


PROPOSED LOCATIONS: The following locations have been identified for the installation of new art bike racks.  These are preliminary locations that are subject to final review and approval by various City of Ithaca public bodies.

Round II Art Bike Rack Locations # of racks at location
Ithaca Commons – 212 E. State Street 2
301 East State Street – City Center/CTB 1
408 North Albany Street – Alex Haley Pool 1
417 West State Street – Kitchen Theatre 1
516 West State Street – The Westy 1
428 West State Street – State Diner 1
Collegetown – 100 Block Dryden and 400 Block College 5


FABRICATION & INSTALLATION: We will be working with Durand’s Forge for fabrication. Durand Van Doren is a local artist blacksmith. We will work with him to keep the final product as true to the original design as possible. The installation will be handled by the City of Ithaca Department of Public Works. 



See the results of ROUND ONE of this project here:, and



For questions or further information, please contact the Downtown Ithaca Alliance: 607-277-8679 or