1. By John Floyd
    September 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm | permalink

    “Unmolested by use”. Well done!

  2. September 29, 2010 at 10:22 am | permalink

    Who do we have to talk to to get rid of those things? Seriously. They are an eyesore, have no clear intent (as evidenced by this picture – no one knows what they’re supposed to be) and openly mocked all the time. Why are they still on our streets?

  3. By suswhit
    September 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm | permalink

    I’m with Laura. Weren’t they also considered trip hazards? For such a hip, quirky town we really stink at public “art.”

  4. By Rod Johnson
    September 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm | permalink


  5. September 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm | permalink

    What is their history?

    My favorite is still John Weise’s wonderful picture: [link]

  6. By Dave Askins
    September 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm | permalink

    Re: “openly mocked”

    Well, yes, it is true about this mockery: [link]

    They were installed with funding from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority with placement decided on with input from getDowntown I think – I thought we’d reported on them as a part of DDA coverage, but I did not turn up anything interesting with a cursory search.

    I agree with the basic criticisms I’ve heard of them [too short, "art" logo interferes with locking, unimaginative, not obviously a bike rack, etc.], but do find that they’re serviceable as a place to lock my bike downtown, so I’m not prepared to support their wholesale removal.

    Recently, county commissioner Jeff Irwin pitched the idea to the DDA of an annual contest for a bicycle hoop design, it’s being bounced around in DDA committees now, but does not appear to be any kind of priority. A scant mention of Irwin’s idea here: [link].

    Irwin’s idea seems to be a one-bike-rack-a-year approach — that would take a while to replace all the current “art” bike racks. But one could imagine an accelerated schedule — especially if there were a specific suggestion for using the retired “art” hoops. Maybe they could be bolted to the outside of a giant wheel as “seats” on a merry-go-round for a park. Or just welded together into a grand piece of art suitable for Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize. Couldn’t look any worse that some of these ArtPrize entries: [link]

    But in any case, it’s the DDA you need to approach if you’d like to lobby to see them disappear.

  7. By Bug
    October 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm | permalink

    Screw all that. What is the need to artify a simple bike rack? Can we just have some bike racks without the need to justify them as Art? Or is this really a subterfuge to place public art in the disguise of utilitarian purpose?

    Neither the purpose of bike racks or of art is well served by this sort of cute thinking.

    The best comment on the racks: [link]

  8. By Peter Zetlin
    October 2, 2010 at 6:37 am | permalink

    Those art bike racks cost $350 each. A basic hoop style costs $60 – $80. An inexpensive rack that’s easy to use and doesn’t try to make a statement works for me.

  9. By Jack F
    October 5, 2010 at 7:08 am | permalink

    The ‘art’ bike racks are ugly, expensive and add to the downtown street clutter. I mean, good lord, walk down Main Street–bike rack, art bike rack, trash can, recycle containers, history signs, DDA ‘signs’, scifi solar parking meter machines, etc. It’s a wonder the ADA folks haven’t filed a lawsuit over all the dangerous situation that will lead to injuries. Even without accidents, downtown sidewalks are looking like a cheap, tacky yard sale with the craps beginning to pile up. Welcome to Ann Arbor…lol.