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Three bike racks chosen for downtown
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Thanks to the creative designs of several local community members, artists, and metal workers, Platteville’s Main Street will soon be home to three unique bike racks.

The designs were submitted in response to the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee’s Creative Bike Rack Design Competition. Community members and metal workers were invited to submit design proposals for functional public art bike racks to enhance the Main Street district.

This project was made available from The Community Foundation’s Robert and Marian Graham Community Fund. The Robert and Marian Graham Community Fund is a resource for area nonprofit organizations whose programs and services are working for the betterment of our communities. Grants from the Robert and Marian Graham Community Fund have supported the arts, education, environment, health and human services and historical preservation.

The competition winners:

•    Rich Fizzell of Prairie Art Metal of Brooklyn: Fizzell’s design of an old-style high-wheeler bicycle will contribute to downtown Platteville’s historic character.

•    The Kristina, Paul, Michael and Emily Fields family and Jeff Baker of Baker Ironworks of Platteville: The Fields–Baker Ironworks team’s collaborative design features a modern bicycle with a trailer rack. This design celebrates Platteville as a bike-friendly, family-friendly community.

•    The John, Lois, Sandi and Sheri Schwert family team of Gays Mills: Team Schwert’s stylized design of mature ears of corn and young plant sprouts recognizes the importance of agriculture in the Platteville area.

“The creative bike rack competition is a great opportunity to add art work to the downtown area,” said Tim Ingram, owner of Momentum Bikes and a member of the Platteville Creative Bike Rack Design Competition Committee. “Hopefully with additional funding we can have other artistic designs produced and displayed downtown.”

Specific locations for the racks are yet to be determined. However, the bike racks will be located in highly visible areas along Main Street. These racks will increase available bike parking on Main Street, helping to implement goals articulated in the 2010 Platteville Downtown Revitalization Plan.

“These functional pieces of art along Main Street are a significant part of our effort to enhance the community experience in Downtown Platteville for not only our citizens but also for visitors to the city,” said Jack Luedtke, executive director of the Platteville Main Street Program. “The historic murals, the veteran’s memorial in City Park, and now the art objects/bike racks, give people a reason to spend more time in historic Downtown Platteville.”

Since August, the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee has organized recycling at Dairy Days, presented a community film series at the Avalon Cinemas, and hosted the Creative Bike Rack Competition. Working in partnership with the Platteville Dairy Days committee, L&M Corrugated Containers of Platteville, and Faherty Recycling, committee members organized and emptied recycling containers throughout Dairy Days, and diverted approximately 33 percent of the waste stream, according to Ed Faherty of Faherty, Inc.

The Sustainability Committee collaborated with the Platteville Public Library, State Theaters, and Faherty, Inc. to present three free showings of the movie “Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?”, with 50 people attending the three showings, where Ed Faherty answered questions about recycling practices.

The Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee meets at Driftless Market on the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. Meetings are open to everyone interested in advancing sustainability principles in Platteville. For more information about the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee, contact Heidi Dyas-McBeth,, 348-2696.