PNCA plans ‘Tracey Sparling Memorial Pedal Garden’

Preliminary concept drawing of Tracey Sparling Memorial Pedal Garden.
(Drawing by David Boekelheide and Evan Holt/PNCA)

The school where Tracey Sparling was enrolled at the time of the tragic collision that took her life in October 2007 plans to build an on-campus bicycle shelter in her memory.

Two students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in the Pearl District have begun to design the Tracey Sparling Memorial Pedal Garden. The new shelter will transform the existing bike corral on NW 13th and Johnson into an “iconic bike-centric sculpture garden that would support and strengthen Portland’s cycling community,” says a school spokesperson.

New bike parking at PNCA-6

PNCA Dean of Students Michael
Hall is coordinating the project.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The project will not only remember Sparling, who was 19 at the time of her death, but will serve as practical experience for two students — David Boekelheide and Evan Holt — currently seeking their MFA in Applied Craft and Design. Boekelheide will present the project as his senior practicum.

To develop plans for the shelter, the students have worked with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, the Regional Arts and Culture Council and local fabrication company Eleek, Inc.

After Sparling’s death, PNCA Dean of Students Michael Hall pushed for bike improvements at the campus. One of them, a corral of bike parking staples that has room for 54 bikes, was completed in March 2009. Since then, Hall has been working for a more substantial bike shelter to honor Sparling and he’s the driving force behind the Pedal Garden.

— Read more about Tracey Sparling and the impact her death had on our community at our “Tracey Sparling” story tag.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
13 years ago

When I pass by the almost always full racks, I wonder why the PNCA has not provided more (all spaces) covered bike racks in the last two versions, since the demand is year around.

Hart Noecker
13 years ago

I dig the non-parralel staple racks, though the tree design feels a little too much like some of the more cringe-worthy sculpture along the MAX yellow line.

michael hall
michael hall
13 years ago

One minor correction…Tracey was 19 years old when she died. Thanks to Johathan and the Portland biking community as we have moved forward with this memorial to her!

— Thank you Michael. I regret that error and have fixed the story. — JM