Colorful new bicycle racks coming to Block Avenue

Five new bicycle racks designed by local artist Eugene Sargent that will soon be installed along Block Avenue in Fayetteville.

Staff photo

New bicycle racks are set to be installed on Block Avenue, and from the looks of it, they’ll be right at home alongside one of Fayetteville’s most colorful streets.

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The new racks were designed by local artist Eugene Sargent, and paid for by the Block Street Business Association from merchandise sales generated during the 2012 Block Street Block Party.

“We’ve wanted bike racks on Block for a long time,” said Hannah Withers, president of the association. “When we found out the city was planning to install some standard racks, we decided that we wanted to do something a little bit different, something more unique that fits our street a little bit better.”

There are five racks, colorfully painted, and sculpted in various shapes including a guitar, a coffee cup and a pair of scissors. The shapes, Withers said, are intended to reflect the diverse types of businesses that line the avenue that locals refer to simply as “Block Street.”

“We want to promote the street, but we also want to re-invest in the community with things like this that really improve the quality of life in the neighborhood,” Withers said.

“What we ended up with are not just bike racks, but pieces of public art that are also functional, and that go along with the walkability, bikeability, and connectivity that we’re trying to build on Block Street,” she said.

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Asking Sargent to design and build the racks was a no-brainer, Withers said.

“Eugene does amazing work, and he’s already contributed so much to this city with his beautiful work,” she said. “To have a piece of him, and his work here on our street is just such an honor.”

Withers said the racks were approved through the Fayetteville Arts Council and the city’s planning staff. A crew with the city’s transportation department is set to install the racks later this week.