An Artistic Bike Rack Tour of Downtown Los Angeles

Sep 27, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Simply put, if you’re riding a bike to a specific location and intend to stay or stop there for any period of time, having a bike rack for your bicycle is a necessity. Most bike racks are plain steel, twisted metal, or perhaps consist of a parking meter, a light pole, or anything that’s fixed for you to be able to lock your bicycle onto.

However, it doesn’t have to be like that at all; indeed the emerging trends are creative, flexible, and work to secure your bike while being artistically, and neighborhood friendly.

Sponsored in 1994-1995, by the Los Angeles City Department of Transportation, “The Bike Stops Here” project was funded with an $18,000 Cultural Trust Fund grant from the Community Redevelopment Agency. With the direct involvement of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), ten uniquely designed bike racks were installed in downtown Los Angeles.

So the next time you’re riding your bike downtown, try looking for an artistic bike rack, instead of the everyday ho-hum norm:

Pershing Square - Corner of Olive St. & Fifth St.


Grand Hope Park - Hope St.


China Town Library - Yale St. and College St.


LAPD Central Station - Corner of 6th St. & Maple Ave.


Geffen Contemporary Museum - 152 N. Central Ave.


LA Times Building - First St. & Spring St.


I’ve included a map so you can easily find them:

View Artistic Bike Racks in Los Angeles in a larger map

Although there are new bike racks planned for East Hollywood, they’re not installed yet.

515 South Flower St.

If you know about or have seen any unique bike racks in and around LA, please feel free to share them with us so we can feature them in one of our stories.

Grand Central Market - 304 S. Broadway

Join Travelin’ Local’s new Facebook group and upload your photos. Be sure to include your blog and/or web address so I can provide you with proper attribution.

LA Mall - 310 North Main St.

Cause after all is said and done, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the nation; and we comprise and represent various neighborhoods and people from all walks of life, ethnic groups, and our cultural landscape literally changes block by block.

City Hall East - Main St.

So join our project by submitting all the bike racks you can find in your neighborhood while Travelin’ Local, because living here is about having fun and then sharing it with your friends at the same time.

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8 Responses to “An Artistic Bike Rack Tour of Downtown Los Angeles”

  1. D. Travis North says:

    I, of course, love the idea of any artistic installation in public. And yes, I would consider some (if not all) of these bike racks as a form of public art. It is, of course, a challenge to the designer – a constraint (a bike needs lock to it) that dictates the form at least in some aspect. But I question whether or not it is ideal and/or feasible to have bike racks that are barely distinguishable as such. I think the ones that work best are the ones that play on the bike theme – such as the enlarged bike chains sticking out of the ground, or the stylized “big wheel” bike. But some of the designs I’ve seen around aren’t so easily to identify…they look more like art than a functional piece. And I am happy to say that many bikers/citizens will respect art forms – so will some of these racks ever get used? I wonder.

    I guess the thing is that we, as humans, are symbol driven. If we can’t identify something, it leads to confusion. There’s something to be said about recognizable forms.
    D. Travis North´s last blog ..GIMP – Free Photoshop Replacement My ComLuv Profile


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @D. Travis North, As I photographed the various bike racks, I was surprised at how much use some of them got. Many had wear and tear on them, however, a couple didn’t have much use at all. I’m not sure if it had to do so much with the looks of the bike rack or more to do with the location. One of them isn’t too accessible to bikes because it’s surrounded by stairs.

    It’s interesting to note that Los Angeles just replaced over two hundred old parking meters with bike racks, seen here, marked with the green bike on the map. These are much more recognizable.


    D. Travis North Reply:

    @LisaNewton, A bike rack surrounded by stairs? That’s funny.
    D. Travis North´s last blog ..GIMP – Free Photoshop Replacement My ComLuv Profile


  2. Today’s post, in which I pause to applaud you « BikingInLA says:

    [...] Crenshaw Crush ride. LACBC offers a look at what a 4th Street Bike Boulevard could be. A look at artistic bike racks in Downtown L.A. The latest side-effect of the growing bike community is an increase in bike [...]

  3. dc says:

    Hehe, that’s awesome! I approve… those racks really are unique, and I’d be happy to find one of them.
    dc´s last blog ..Quincy Stars – Take #1 My ComLuv Profile


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @dc, I loved finding each and everyone. It’s great to see so many of them are being used.


  4. Jaxrolo says:

    I wish our city here in Jacksonville, FL had more fashionable Bike Racks Like your city does
    Jaxrolo´s last blog ..How to buy the best bike rack My ComLuv Profile


  5. uberVU - social comments says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by LisaNewton: Have you ever seen a few of the artistic bike racks in Los Angeles?

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