Seven vibrant new bike racks—including three creations of the Lehigh University Design Collective—are being installed throughout South Side Bethlehem as part of a new community arts project designed to encourage foot and bike traffic throughout the business district and bring public art to the area.
The Artist Designed Bike Rack Project, which is a partnership between the City of Bethlehem and ArtsQuest, features functional yet highly artistic bike racks—a coffee bar designed just for bicyclists, a tribute to Bethlehem Steel, a SteelStacks-inspired creation, among others.
Northampton County through the Community Investment Partnership Program provide funding.
“This bike rack project is integral to the downtown experience on the South Side,” said Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. “In addition to enhancing public safety, this project will help to support small business owners and those who use alternative transportation to get around.”
The winning designs were selected by a jurying committee that included representatives from the City of Bethlehem, ArtsQuest, Southside Arts District, Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission and the Coalition for Appropriate Transportation.
Among them were the three designed by the Lehigh University Design Collective, an ensemble of Lehigh students from various majors who are tied to the university’s Department of Art, Architecture and Design and the Wilbur Powerhouse and Design Labs. The students designed those known as Ribbon Rack, Sustainable Meter Rack and Lehigh Bike Rack Bar.
Ethan Hahn, of Bethlehem, whose father, James, worked at Bethlehem Steel for many years, created two bike racks that pay tribute to the company: “Molten Metal,” which features molten metal flowing from a ladle; and “I-Beam.” Hahn earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Temple University.
The bike racks are being installed in strategic locations: