Our roadways are a bit quieter for the time being, though maybe you’ve been pedaling or afoot more? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed a new element to the Downtown Lebanon and West Lebanon streetscapes: two shiny new bike racks molded in the form of our community zip codes, 03766 and 03784.
The latter, with its teal numerals, provides a welcoming and playful gateway to the Pedestrian Mall space, facing North Park Street, while the former, a classic bronze, complements Kilton Library’s architecture and existing street furniture at its entrance along Main Street. The Lebanon Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee, which originated the idea for the racks, sees them as a way to encourage bicyclists to park their bikes in convenient and appropriate locations, while also celebrating Lebanon’s commitment to bicycling as a convenient and popular mode of transportation.
The racks further Master Plan goals to provide safe public spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists, including bike storage, but also go beyond simply meeting that functional goal. The installations deploy fun, creative designs that help to brand our community and contribute to the attractiveness of public spaces. Place-making, whether through benches, landscaping, lighting, fountains—or bike racks—gives Lebanon’s residents and guests places to linger and interact and that’s integral to fostering a vital community.
Yes, there are brighter days, social occasions and warmer weather ahead to keep our chins up about!
Once activity resumes more, the City hopes that the racks will inspire others to install bike storage for their occupants and visitors, including units with creative flair. Without such facilities, if an officer sees a bike chained to a parking sign - beware, it could end up in their lair and for good reason. It is best practice to keep bikes out of the sidewalk and areas where they might be a tripping and snowplow hazard, or create visual clutter, as well as for them to be corraled in a visible, safe location for the security of the rider and their property. If you are considering an installation, let us know and we can help with design and placement considerations.
Special mention goes to the Department of Public Works for installing the racks and to the Police Department for leading by example, as Officer Pike is doing in the photo here.
Participate in #RackItUpLeb
Speaking of keeping our heads up during this time, won’t you join Officer Pike? Participate in the #RackItUpLeb and #UVStrong challenge! On your next walk or bike outing, visit one of the racks and take a selfie photograph, or take a photo of someone in your family (assuming that we’re all following physical distancing recommendations right now). Then share and tag your photo with #RackItUpLeb #UVStrong, or similar tags to your social media, or ideally post the pic to the City’s Photo Gallery.
We’re all in this together, Lebanon, so let’s show some solidarity and zip code pride for doing our parts to overcome COVID-19!