If the bike parking squid is any indication, Seattle Center’s “Next Fifty” is going to involve some crazy bike racks.
Now, before you start ranting against art bike racks sacrificing utility for looks (it’s true!), can we also agree that this thing is super cool? No car parking garage will ever look like a sea monster.
More details about the rack (set to be installed in early May):
The “Parking Squid” for bikes is under construction! Decorative Metal Arts, a metal fabricator located in SODO, is fabricating this bike rack designed by local artist Susan Robb. The structure is made from galvanized steel and is funded by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) 1% for Art funds administered by the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. This unique bike rack provides parking for eight bikes and is being installed at Seattle Center in early May. The installation is part of the Next Fifty Sustainable Futurescelebration and will be found near the Next 50 Plaza and Harrison Street entrance. So hop on your bike, check out the great events at the Seattle Center and take advantage of the Parking Squid.
“I looked in my turn, and could not repress a gesture of disgust. Before my eyes was a horrible monster worthy to figure in the legends of the marvellous. It was an immense cuttlefish, being eight yards long. It swam crossways in the direction of the Nautilus with great speed, watching us with its enormous staring green eyes. Its eight arms, or rather feet, fixed to its head, that have given the name of cephalopod to these animals, were twice as long as its body, and were twisted like the furies’ hair. One could see the 250 air holes on the inner side of the tentacles. The monster’s mouth, a horned beak like a parrot’s, opened and shut vertically. Its tongue, a horned substance, furnished with several rows of pointed teeth, came out quivering from this veritable pair of shears. What a freak of nature, a bird’s beak on a mollusc! Its spindle-like body formed a fleshy mass that might weigh 4,000 to 5,000 lb.; the, varying colour changing with great rapidity, according to the irritation of the animal, passed successively from livid grey to reddish brown. What irritated this mollusc? No doubt the presence of the Nautilus, more formidable than itself, and on which its suckers or its jaws had no hold. Yet, what monsters these poulps are! what vitality the Creator has given them! what vigour in their movements! and they possess three hearts! Chance had brought us in presence of this cuttlefish, and I did not wish to lose the opportunity of carefully studying this specimen of cephalopods. I overcame the horror that inspired me, and, taking a pencil, began to draw it.”
I hope there will be a lot more racks available if this will only hold 8 bikes. Also I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
My biggest concern is about capacity and durability. The illustration above only seemed to show an easy place for three bikes, and to a certain extent the fact that this looks more like a piece of artwork would discourage chaining a bike to the structure.
Downtown Bellevue put in a bunch of artsy bike racks, some that looked like cyclists, some that looked like coffee cups. They were extremely poorly designed at the base and in some cases were broken free quite easily.
If this were being paid for with a “bike parking budget” I would be concerned, but as it is being paid for by the required 1% for the arts program it seems that the fact that you can attach bikes to it is a bonus. And it looks freakin’ rad.
Next up, angry whale with Ahab in tow. Bicycles lock up to the harpoon line.
I guess I’m a wet blanket in all of this because these “neat” racks often don’t allow you to securely lock your bike to the rack. I may be surprised, but it’s very much a wait and see for me.
Will passersby become angry at the damned cyclists who acted like uncultured vandals and locked their bikes to a public work of art?
Looks pretty cool and can hold a few bikes. I’d love to see a scool of bike squid all over the city.
As far as art goes, I think this thing is awesome. I’ll lock my bike up to a squid any time!
Cuz, you know, squid tend to multiply. And now it appears they can fly, too. LOL!
I’m not against cool art installations that you can also lock your bike to, but I really want bike racks with a roof. I was visiting the WWU campus and they had these cool cantilevered covered racks all over. I was thinking, man, it rains around here all the time, and I love covered parking for my car. Why aren’t there covered parking spots elsewhere?? I mean the Seattle Center should have some. Those converted street parking places could have a few. Yes they are more expensive and maybe everywhere they aren’t necessary but is sure is nice to have a dry seat to sit on after you come outside to ride home.
As for this squid rack.. can’t wait for the clam racks!
Yes, covered bike parking is very important. As anyone who has had to leave their bike out in the rain for a long period of time knows, chains and sprockets rust quickly.
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