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PNCA set to unveil ‘Tracey Sparling Memorial Pedal Garden’

Posted by on January 18th, 2013 at 9:29 am

Pedal Garden at PNCA-3-1

When 19-year old Tracey Sparling was killed while riding her bike in downtown Porltand on October 11th, 2007, it shook our city to the core. When, just 11 days later, Brett Jarolimek suffered a similar fate in a collision in north Portland, we experienced a unprecedented, citywide outpouring of grief and activism. For the community of students and staff at the Pacific Northwest College of Art the tragedies were particularly hard to accept because both Sparling and Jarolimek were students. Sparling was likely on her way to class when she was struck.

Later this month, PNCA will unveil the ‘Tracey Sparling Pedal Garden’, which will serve as a memorial to Sparling and, “an iconic bike-centric sculpture garden that supports and strengthens Portland’s cycling community.”

PNCA has worked for three years on the Pedal Garden project with a team of volunteers, artists and donors. In a thank-you to those who’ve contributed to the project, PNCA’s Dean of Students Michael Hall wrote, “Together, we have taken a horrendous tragedy, and created an iconic bicycle oasis that both celebrates PNCA’s bicycling community and stands in memory of student Tracey Sparling.”

Some elements of the Pedal Garden have already been installed and I rolled over yesterday to catch a glimpse…

Pedal Garden at PNCA-1-1

pedal garden at pnca

Pedal Garden at PNCA-2-1

The sculpture was designed and fabricated by David Boekelheide, a graduate of PNCA’s MFA program in Applied Craft and Design. Here’s more about it via PNCA:

“The Pedal Garden features wall-mounted racks covered by partial roof of translucent green leaves. The design uses “green” iconography to reinforce the environmental benefits of cycling and demonstrates PNCA’s commitment to design in support of a sustainable future. The College already has one of the city’s largest bike parking facilities. The Tracey Sparling Pedal Garden transforms a simple group of bike staples into an iconic memorial.”

The Pedal Garden is located in the bike corral on the west side of PNCA’s building in northwest Portland (13th and Johnson). Everyone’s invited to the dedication ceremony on January 25th at 11:30 am. See the event flyer below…

Learn more about the project here.

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10 thoughts on “PNCA set to unveil ‘Tracey Sparling Memorial Pedal Garden’”

  1. Avatar 9watts says:

    Much more inspiring than a ghost bike, though I think those are important too.

  2. Avatar K'Tesh says:

    Very nice! Simple, elegant, meaningful, and useful!

  3. Avatar are says:

    locking is accomplished how? by cable and/or through the front wheel?

    1. Avatar 9watts says:

      It looks to me as if the bar/loop on the left side swings away from the wall and can be used/is intended to serve as the anchor for the U-lock.

    2. hi are,

      I thought someone might ask that. I wanted to keep this post more focused on the background and as a teaser for the upcoming event. As for details of the design, I’m not sure how exactly they expect folks to lock the bikes, but figured I would find out more/ask them at the event on the 25th. The metal leaf arm does swing and I suspect it’s meant as a way to lock something to your frame, but it didn’t really seem to work that well for me (unless I was missing something).

  4. Avatar 9watts says:

    I just figured out that is Jonathan’s new bike we’re seeing in the photos. In some circles that kind of subtle introduction is referred to as a ‘drive-by.’ Very nice!

    1. 😉 yep. that’s my new rig! I am still waiting for one or two final details to be complete and I want it to be fully done before I share detailed images. Stay tuned. Glad you like it! (built by Mr. Joseph Ahearne if you’re curious)

  5. Given that PNCA are going to be vacating that building in the next few years, I hope they find a way to bring this to the new campus on the North Park Blocks.

  6. Avatar Todd Boulanger says:

    Jonathan…when you go to the grand opening to research this project (for the follow up article), it would be helpful to check in on some long term operations questions:
    1) secure parking (as mentioned above)
    2) where does the rain collected by the “leaf” go, and overtime will this flow with leaves/ debris cause corrosion where the rack is secured to the building or flow down to the bike?
    3) Will PBoT remove/ relocate some of the existing racks that seem to crowd the new wall racks?

    This is very stunning artistic design, it will catch a lot of eyes as they pass by for the first time.

  7. Avatar Duncan Idaho-Stop says:

    The pedal garden looks sweet, but today I noticed that the very practical staple racks in your pictures have been replaced with clumsy round racks.

    I could be wrong, but this smacks of someone who doesn’t regularly lock up a bike being put in charge of bike racks. It’s harder to work out how to hook up your bike on one of those things, and they tend to have room for fewer bikes.

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