New Bike Racks Are Artwork, Too

By: Gary Smollen, Ann McIntire Email
By: Gary Smollen, Ann McIntire Email

It’s been said that where form meets function you have art. The theory is being tested in the Old Market with a different kind of bike rack. The first of six new bike racks was installed Wednesday morning.

"Public art makes quite a difference in the feel of an area and this is one way that we've been able to combine public art with a functional aspect such as a bike rack,” said Joe Gudenrath of the Downtown Improvement District.

The bike racks will help promote cycling, provide secure bike racks in downtown Omaha and look pretty doing it. "We have the sunrise and the garden basket and then we have some that are curls that will go in front of the Dale Clark Library, but then we'll have some that are less illustrated and will be in front of the Orpheum,” said Melody Scott.

Artists Melody Scott and Peggy Ritschel were selected to design the bike racks. Two will be located at the W. Dale Clark Library, one each outside the Orpheum, 12th and Howard, 11th and Jackson and 11th and Jones.

The project is the result of an idea of one of the small groups of Greater Omaha Chamber Leadership Omaha Class. Funding came from the Downtown Improvement District and help from the city of Omaha’s bike pedestrian coordinator.

The racks were envisioned as part of a community improvement project by the group members. DID eagerly supported the idea and found funding for the project through the DID board and grants from the mayor’s office and Mutual of Omaha.

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