ArtWorks installed their third Queen City Art Rack (artistic bike rack/sculpture) last week at 5th and Elm in front of the convention center. The sculpture was designed by local artist Edward Casagrande, and resembles three bicycles holding up a sail.
Cincinnati’s first Art Rack was installed last year, in front of Coffee Emporium in OTR. I like the homage to Cincinnati (the rack features local landmarks), but personally I think it can be a bit challenging to use with a U-lock if anyone who showed up prior to you is parked in the center of the rack. But I’m sure it functions fine for those with cable locks.
|Cincinnati's first Art Rack, at Coffee Emporium in OTR|
The new rack seems to be very functional; its shape clearly dictates where you’re expected to park, and there are several holes located at varying heights. I was able to find several different ways of locking Veronica’s mixte frame, even with a mini U-lock.
There’s no signage identifying the sculpture as a bike rack, but hopefully something will be installed soon. I don’t think it’s really evident on its own that it is a bike rack, and some cyclists might be wary of locking to something that looks like public art.
I think that artistic racks can really raise awareness about bicycling for transportation, but only if they’re functional enough to actually be used by cyclists. What do you think?