Making Cities Multifunctional

2ndstreet sculptureHave you seen the new bike rack sculpture on East 2nd Street between Congress Avenue and Brazos Street? Stem Rack, designed by Austin artist Ann Armstrong, provides parking for four bikes and is the newest addition to the City of Austin’s public art collection, funded by the Downtown Austin Alliance and Thomas Properties Group. Use of bike racks as art is a growing trend; moving transportation beyond basic utilitarian design toward installations that enhance public places. Watch this video to hear more about Armstrong’s objective in designing Stem Rack here.

With tightening public budgets we expect even greater pressure for investments to accomplish more than one goal and to use public space as productively as possible. Here are a couple of examples of “the trend.” Royal Blue Grocery and the City partnered to convert two parking spots (space for two cars) into a street patio that provides outdoor seating for 20 people on Congress Avenue. Similarly, in high traffic areas the City rethinking on-street parking to do more with less by squeezing more vehicles into the a single parking space with either a bike corral for 20 bikes and allowing scooters or allowing motorcycles to park for free. Even CapMetro is getting into this new groove! The popularity of using a bike and a bus has grown tremendously and thus CapMetro is preparing to replace their current two-bike racks with racks that hold three bikes.

Share your multifunction design ideas with us in a comment below!

One Response to Making Cities Multifunctional

  1. Leesa Overcash says:

    I noted with interest while visiting Tucson, Ariz., this summer that in their public transportation system, each bus has a front-loading bicycle rack to accommodate the two-wheeling segment of the population. A bike-friendly city such as Fort Lauderdale would be well served by equipping Broward County Transit buses with bike racks.,

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