The "The Bike Stops Here" project, funded by the Community Redevelopment Agency's Downtown Cultural Trust Fund, created ten unique bike racks in downtown in 1995 and 1996. (One placed at the Los Angeles Times Building was subsequently damaged and removed.) These racks, supported by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation as a way of encouraging bicycle riding in downtown by providing security at important public places, were designed and fabricated by graduate and undergraduate students in a course at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).
Paul Benigno placed four bike racks at Arco Plaza to serve the messengers who tied their bikes to railings and posts while they wait for their next delivery. He aligned the racks to mimic the repetitious placement of the nearby benches and trees. He also installed them on the sidewalk rather than the plaza so they would not disrupt pedestrian movement and interfere with the formal composition of the fountain and buildings. Constructed of cast steel, each rack has a vertical pole anchored in the concrete, and a 3/8" steel plate imprinted with bicycle imagery. The nearby street signs--"Bus Stop," "One Way Stop,"-- inspired Benigno to title his installation "Bike Stop."(1)
Footnotes:1 Artist Statement, no date.
The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, January 2000.
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