Ithaca’s Art Bike Racks
In 2017 the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) and the City of Ithaca together with the
Tompkins County Tourism Program and Bike Walk Tompkins launched a
Community Bike Rack Design Competition with the idea of encouraging cycling as a
desirable mode of transportation as well as enhancing downtown Ithaca with creative
functional art, designed by and for the local community.
80 different designs from local and regional artists of all ages were submitted. The
selection panel, using criteria of functionality, creativity and representation of
Ithaca’s unique culture, history, and characteristics of place, chose twelve wining designs.
These were then sent to local blacksmith and metal artist Durand Van Doren for crafting
into bike racks. Using the colors recommended by the design artists, the finished products
were then galvanized, and fusion-coat painted for durability and additional beauty. Local
bike advocates helped the City Engineering Division identify visible downtown locations
near to the Ithaca Commons where additional bike parking was needed.
It is hoped these Art Bike Racks will inspire other new ideas to bring more 3-dimensional
art to public spaces in Ithaca, stimulating the idea of the functional object as artwork.
Led by Tom Knipe, Deputy Director for Economic Development for the City of Ithaca, this project is a
partnership of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, Tompkins County Tourism Program, the City of Ithaca
and Bike Walk Tompkins, with financial support provided by an anonymous donor.
A self-guided walking tour of the Bike Racks can be found on the free Pocketsights app for smartphones:
You can also see a compete list of the racks at: https://ithacabikerackproject.wordpress.com/
Bike Racks were fabricated at Durand’s Forge, Trumansburg.