Tampa Bay Tech Turns Old Bike Parts Into New Racks In Downtown Tampa

Students from Tampa Bay Technical High School designed 10 bike racks made from old bicycle parts for riders in downtown Tampa.

Partnering with the Tampa Downtown Partnership, students from the school's architecture, welding and auto body programs designed, fabricated and painted the bike racks for the Tampa Bay Cycle campaign. Not only did they creatively conceptualize the design and functionality, they were also responsible for finding the location to install the racks downtown.

The Tampa Bay Cycle campaign, which got the wheels moving on this project, was founded by Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning for the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

Kress. a daily bike-on-bus commuter, and Julie Bond, a daily bicycle commuter, member of the New North Transportation Alliance and co-chair for the Tampa Bay Cycle campaign, applied for a grant back in 2007 through the Florida Department of Transportation to launch the campaign. They won the grant and have reapplied every year since to keep the campaign going.

"We're just interested in making Tampa Bay a more bicycle-friendly community," says Kress.

The bike racks were designed for the urban environment and painted black to blend with the rest of downtown Tampa's street decor.

The first rack was installed on Earth Day, April 22, at the St. Pete Times Forum at 401 Channelside Drive. Others are at popular places like the Glazer Children's Museum, Sweetwater Organic Farm, Jaidee Yoga Studio, and Union Station.

"We are always searching for creative ways to enhance downtown's outdoor environment," says Kress. "This project is a win for all involved - bike riders, public art lovers and students gaining valuable experience."

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Karen Kress, Tampa Downtown Partnership
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