Fall of 2011 saw the installation of two art bike racks in downtown Eugene. While there is a plethora of utilitarian pipes and posts throughout the city, these new hunks of metal were a bit more in line with the spirit of Eugene. There are plenty of examples of public art scattered throughout the community. Murals adorn the backs of businesses, sculptures decorate planters in the heart of downtown and sidewalk chalk, graffiti and random installations around campus and in parks make Eugene more colorful. The artistic bike racks not only provide visual stimulation, but physical accommodation as well.
“I think it makes a pretty big statement,” Richard Hughes, president of the Greater Eugene Area Riders (GEARs), said. Yet, Hughes says the “more artsy” element of the racks is not necessarily a help to the cycling community.
“It softens motorists… or pisses them off.”
Hughes acknowledges he’s no art critic, but he knows bikes and he knows Eugene. So, when he became involved in the art corral project, he was disappointed by one huge oversight for a project in a town known for a particular kind of weather.
“They’re cute,” he said. “But where’s the roof?”