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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: These bike racks are art

By KATIE McQUAID
May 25. 2015 8:53PM
Graphic designer and illustrator Peter Noonan is one of those coming up with designs for bike racks in Manchester. 

Am I the only one who thought bicycle racks came in one design? You know, a few horizontal metal bars held together with a bunch of vertical bars through which to stick your bike wheel.

It never occurred to me one could look like the Jefferson Mill tower, or the old Amoskeag Bridge.

Thank goodness for creative types like local graphic designer and illustrator Peter Noonan. He has come up with a few potential designs, including the ones mentioned, to be considered for new bike racks to be installed around the city through a joint effort of the Bike Manchester group, local businesses and non-profits, and the Manchester Department of Public Works.

“I really wanted to capture the flavor of Manchester and the mill/river history, so there are echoes of the city hall tower and the Jefferson Tower. We have some more concepts in the works, but these are a start,” Noonan wrote to the Scene.

Noonan’s designs were shared through Bike Manchester’s latest email newsletter in hopes of inspiring others to come up with a few designs themselves. All submissions will be considered at the next Bike Manchester meeting this Thursday.

In their travels, Bike Manchester co-chair Will Stewart and other group members have seen alternative versions of the traditional bike rack — like musical-themed designs in Nashville — and wanted to bring something similar to Manchester.

“We thought it would be neat to do something that reflected Manchester,” Stewart said.

Others can submit bike rack concept drawings to bike@bikemht.com before Thursday’s meeting. It’s as simple as drawing them on some paper and taking a picture with your smart phone. Each rack should be designed to hold two to three bikes.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Dyn offices, 150 Dow St. It is open to the public, and the final bike rack design will be chosen by consensus of the people in attendance, Stewart said.

Coincidentally, the actual racks will be built by Noonan’s brother, Dave Noonan, a wrought iron metal fabricator who is also an approved vendor for the Public Works Department.

The racks will be funded through the Manchester 50/50 Bike Rack Program announced at the beginning of the year, which allowed businesses and non-profits to apply to share the cost of having a $400 bike rack permanently installed on or near their property. The other half is being paid for by a grant from the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition.

Approved for racks so far are 900 Degrees, Puritan Backroom, KPG Realty, Dairy Queen, Neighborworks Southern New Hampshire, Red Oak Apartment Homes Inc. and Devine Millimet.

If all goes according the schedule, Stewart said the new racks could be installed by the Public Works Department by the end of June.

“Most areas of the city will be seeing one,” Stewart said. And he believes the remaining few racks available through this round of funding will be grabbed up as soon as people see the finished product.

I think so too. Who wouldn’t want a locally designed and built functional piece of art on permanent display outside their business for just $200?

To learn more about Bike Manchester and its work to make Manchester a more bicycle-friendly city, visit www.bikemht.com.

Garden gathering

It’s time for the Moore Center Garden Party, a highlight of the Greater Manchester social calendar. You have probably driven by this event, which is the only one I have ever seen held in a big tent on the lawn of Brady Sullivan Tower.

On Wednesday, June 17, about 400 people dressed in their summer finest will gather to honor Dick Anagnost and raise money for The Moore Center’s children’s services and autism initiatives.

Anagnost has more than 30 years of experience in real estate and land development within the city of Manchester, northern New England and internationally. He has assisted Manchester to revitalize downtown Elm Street and preserve the historical downtown and Millyard areas. He is also actively involved in numerous non-profits.

The Garden Party is held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets, which can be purchased at https://moorecentergardenparty2015.eventbrite.com are $75.

NH365.ORG Event of the Week

Learn about Manchester’s pioneer Irish citizens at the “Find Your Irish Roots” walking tour this Saturday. City historians John Jordan and Gerald Holleran will lead the group on a tour through Old Saint Joseph’s Cemetery on Donald Street, sharing stories of how Manchester’s Irish community overcame discrimination to become some of the Queen City’s leading citizens.

The walk goes from 10 a.m. to noon, and the cost is $5 for Manchester Historic Association members and $10 for the general public.

Visit www.Nh365.org to learn how to register and find other historical events in and around Manchester.

If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to Scene@UnionLeader.com.


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