Vancouver gets its first artistic bike rack

Vancouver’s first ever art racks.
(Photos: Marcus Griffith)

In the latest act of Portland’s bike love spreading to Vancouver, a Portland resident is opening Clark County’s first fully dedicated climbing center in downtown Vancouver, complete with Vancouver’s first artistic bicycle rack (a.k.a. “art racks“).

The Source is co-owned by Portland resident Hanz Kroesen and former Portland resident Michael Lary. According to Lary, the mountain peak shaped bicycle racks at The Source were designed and built by Kroesen, along with “most of the metal work” in the building.

Lary, who currently lives in Vancouver, said providing bike access to his clients was important to him as a businessman. “I bike here every day, so [bike parking] is usually pretty important to me,” said Lary.

In Portland, business have installed customized, artistic bike racks for a few years but the City of Vancouver Bicycle Parking Standards (PDF) contains language that suggests such racks are discouraged in Vancouver.

“If you plan to install a bicycle rack in the public right-of-way in either the downtown or Uptown Village area, you may have to install a style of rack that has been designed specifically for these areas,” the document states. The “designed” rack for downtown and uptown Vancouver is a traditional H-frame rack (shown below).

Vancouver Senior Planner Jennifer Campos pointed out the word “may” in the guideline when asked about the code. “We have never had a design requirement for bicycle racks in the downtown. The H-rack was our preference for a while, but we never required a developer to install them,” she said. Campos adds that she was “excited” to see the bike racks at The Source and said she “needs to update [the guideline] booklet.”

One rack may seem like a small step, but I will be surprised if we don’t see more artistic bike racks pop up across Vancouver over the next few months. The Source’s grand opening is Friday, Nov. 11, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will include ribbon cutting ceremony, a climbing demonstration and a complimentary open climb and kids play session. All guests must sign a waiver to participate (you can download a copy at The Source’s website). The Source is located at 1118 Main Street in Vancouver, a short distance from the I-5 Bridge.

— Marcus Griffith is a cycling advocate, veteran of the US Navy and a freelance journalist currently contributing to BikePortland and The Reflector. Read more of his Vancouver coverage here.

Switch to Desktop View with Comments