Colorful Bike Racks A Gift from Raleigh Citizens
Sustainable Raleigh Spotlight Feature
At the end of 2013 crowdfunding was all the rage. Websites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter helped entrepreneurs and adventurers accomplish their dreams.
The City of Raleigh was curious about this model of public support for small-scale amenities such as bike racks and park benches.
“City Council was looking for deliverables at the right scale to work for crowdsourcing,” said Eric Lamb, the City’s Transportation Planning Manager.
Lamb works with BikeRaleigh, a City initiative to improve bikeability. Installing bike racks work well with the mission to make biking around Raleigh easier for everyone.
Fast-forward to this summer, and the first crowd-funded bike racks are in! Five new racks are now installed at central locations around downtown Raleigh.
These aren’t the typical steel slots. Designed by local artist Mary Catherine Floyd, they’re colorful and sturdy stencils of the BikeRaleigh logo. Cyclists secure their bicycles by looping locks through a silhouette of Raleigh’s skyline.
“They’re awesome! And they’re hefty too,” said Lamb. “We selected locations that we hoped would be prominent and visible for these custom BikeRaleigh racks.”
The Office of Transportation Planning partnered with the City of Oaks Foundation to facilitate the crowdfunding effort. Individual donations as low as $10 helped fund the project.
The City of Oaks Foundation, a non-profit to preserving Raleigh's natural areas and encouraging active outdoor lifestyles, helped raise close to $10,000. Two-thirds of the money was used to install park benches on greenway trails and the rest funded the bike racks.
“This project shows the potential of a highly motivated and highly organized group of citizens who want to advance public projects,” said City of Oaks Foundation Director Chris Heagarty.
The public is invited to register for BikeRaleigh’s family-friendly group bike ride to check out the new racks on Sunday, August 7. The four-mile leisurely ride begins and ends at One Exchange Plaza, with prizes to follow.
BikeRaleigh also keeps a running list of Raleigh social bike rides throughout the year.
Can’t make the ride? Find the five BikeRaleigh racks at these locations:
• One Exchange Plaza
• Red Hat Amphitheater
• 13 E. Martin Street
• 300 W. Hargett Street
• 927 W. Morgan Street
This Sustainable Raleigh Spotlight is one in a series of City of Raleigh sustainability stories.