May 4, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bike Rack Designed by Local Artist
Installed on Cornell St.
KINGSTON, N.Y. - Mayor Steve Noble is pleased to announce the installation of a locally designed bike rack at the Lace Mill on Cornell Street. The bike rack’s unique design was created by Buddy Valentine, of Kingston. Artists and industrial designers participated in a competition in 2017 and submitted designs for three bike racks to be installed along Cornell St. as part of the Midtown Shared Streets project (www.kingston-ny.gov/midtownsharedstreets) on the Kingston Greenline.
“It is exciting to add this new amenity to Cornell St.,” said Mayor Noble. “As we continue to upgrade the transportation infrastructure throughout our city, it’s refreshing and reinvigorating to include community-sourced designs as often as possible. Our streetscape is growing brighter and more welcoming thanks to the collaborative efforts of our community partners and creative artists.”
"When I was a kid in the suburbs of Chicago and we'd drive into the big city, there was this giant sign shaped as a pair of red lips,” said Buddy Valentine. “It was along the highway as you approached the urban areas, for me a beacon of big, big dreams. My dream for the SWAK murals I've been fortunate to create with O+ and now this exciting bike rack project is that they'll ignite excitement and big dreams in the same way, intriguing kids and adults alike about Kingston’s awesomeness.”
"Buddy Valentine's bike rack, which references the designer's pair of O+ murals that kiss across town, adds a new element of functional public art to Cornell Street," said Aimee Gardner, O+ director of operations. "It's a seamless blending of art and wellness."
Bike Friendly Kingston members applauded the design features of the bike rack, stating: “This kind of bike rack is great because it has two points of contact for a bicycle. You can lock up the frame of your bike and the front tire. We want the public to know that is public art that you can touch.”
The Kingston Land Trust’s Greenline Committee echoed this sentiment, stating: “We're excited to have this vision come to life along a leg of the Kingston Greenline; the merging of community art and a bike-friendly atmosphere! Bike racks are an important feature in a modern City as they encourage the healthy lifestyle of cycling, which is a more affordable and environmentally sound mode of transportation than motorized vehicles. Facilitating bike use with attractive infrastructure like this is a creative way to activate our streets and neighborhoods.”
“This project has been a great example of how multiple organizations can come together to encourage healthy activities in our community,” said Emily Flynn, Director of Health and Wellness for the City of Kingston. “It was a joy working with the O+ Festival, Bike Friendly Kingston, the City of Kingston, the Lace Mill and Rupco, artist Buddy Valentine, and the Kingston Land Trust. Great things happen when we work together.”
The Bike Rack Competition was facilitated by the City’s Live Well Kingston and the O+ Festival. The competition was made possible through a grant from APA NY Metro as part of the Plan4Health program. Partners included the City of Kingston, Bike Friendly Kingston, Complete Streets Advisory Council, and the Kingston Land Trust‘s Kingston Greenline Committee. The bike racks were purchased through a Main Street Revitalization Program grant funded by Central Hudson, which also funded the costs of on-street painting and signage improvements that took place last Fall.
The two additional bike racks will be installed at other key locations along Cornell St. in Fall 2018. The installation of these bike racks will complement the planned sidewalk restoration project planned for Cornell St. anticipated for construction in Fall 2018. These pedestrian and bicycle improvements are part of a broader vision for Kingston, one in which a safe and reliable transportation system moves and connects people to places, with a variety of motorized and non-motorized options working together to provide users with a seamless and stress-free experience. For more information about transportation projects in Kingston, visit www.kingston-ny.gov/KingstonOnTheMove
About the Artist, Buddy Valentine
Writer, artist and aerobics teacher Buddy Valentine has lived in the Hudson Valley for almost 5 years. Valentine identifies as transgender and uses pronoun "she". She is currently working on a book series titled Rainbows: the Funnest, Coolest Book About Beating Depression, manages Upstairs at BSP, the dance studio located above Back Stage Productions and collaborated with Chris Bick on this bike rack design for the Cornell Street corridor.
About the Kingston Greenline
The Kingston Greenline is a network of urban trails, bikeways, and promenades that when fully constructed will provide residents and visitors a healthy, fun and sustainable way to connect with our City’s rich cultural, historical, commercial and recreational resources. It will also serve as an important hub for the growing system of rail trails throughout Ulster County and New York State. The Kingston Greenline is an initiative of the Kingston Land Trust, in partnership with the City of Kingston and Ulster County. Learn more at http://kingstongreenline.org/, and for project status, visit https://kingston-ny.gov/kingstongreenline.
About the O+ Festival
Founded in 2010 in Kingston, NY by a small group of artists-activists, doctors and a dentist, O+ is now a national nonprofit working in cities around the country. O+ builds long-term relationships between creatives and health & wellness providers to help strengthen local communities. Their year-round efforts culminate in one-day and weekend-long celebrations, during which underinsured artists and musicians create and perform in exchange for a variety of services donated by doctors, dentists and complementary care providers. Learn more at: http://opositivefestival.org/about/
About Live Well Kingston
The Live Well Kingston Commission brings partners and residents together to facilitate policy, environmental, and systems changes that result in a healthy and active community for all. Learn more at: www.livewellkingston.org
About Bike Friendly Kingston
Bike-Friendly Kingston is an association of individuals who share a common goal: to make Kingston a safer, more bike-able city. We meet monthly to pursue a range of activities, including advocating for better bicycle infrastructure and policies and educating Kingston residents about the benefits of safe and responsible bicycling. Our goal is to make Kingston the best place to ride a bike in the Hudson Valley! To get involved visit www.bikefriendlykingston.org or www.facebook.com/groups/bikefriendlykingstonny/