Think about those circular "3 Rivers" bike racks on sidewalks throughout Pittsburgh or even years back, those long racks in school yards where you placed the front tire of your bike. Now a Pittsburgh councilman is inviting design ideas for "bike corrals" that would be functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Councilman Bill Peduto says the public design competition came about when the city was getting ready to install bike racks on Walnut Street and the Shadyside Action Coalition didn't think the design enhanced the business district. Instead of looking nationally for designs, the coalition suggested a local competition.
"Anybody can participate," Peduto said. "If you have an idea on creating a bike corral, you're welcome to submit your plan. There's grant funding that's available to be able to pay for it--everything from the design and the construction of it, and we'll work with the Public Works Department to install it."
The circular "3 Rivers" racks usually accomodate two bicycles and are located on sidewalks. Peduto says the bike corrals would be the size of one on-street parking spot. But he added applicants should be able to construct their bike rack or partner with a local manufacturer to build it. "That's really what the bike corral competition is about, creating something that is unique to Pittsburgh."
The councilman said once the juried competition is over, the winning design goes to the Art Commission. "Then it becomes a standard throughout the city. So it won't just be Shadyside, it will be any neighborhood would have the opportunity then to use that design," Peduto said. "It will give the designer and the local manufacturer the opportunity to get a head start and maybe even able to market it to other cities around the country."
At this point, only four corrals are planned: two on Walnut Street and one apiece on Ellsworth Avenue and South Highland Avenue. But the deadline to submit designs is the first week of September. "I would ask people to sit down with friends and get some ideas together on napkins, take it to some local ironworkers or even do it with materials in your own garage, get the idea rolling and submit the plan."
Design requierments and submision information can be found on Councilman Peduto's website.