9 Racks That Rock By David Byrne

New Yorkers have something to look forward to when they return from summer vacation next week. New bike racks! And nine of them are the designs of Talking Heads founder, pop rocker, lyricist, visual artist, furniture designer - well, modern Renaissance man -- David Byrne!

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) asked Mr. Byrne, an avid bicyclist, to help judge a contest it was holding for new bike rack designs. Mr. Byrne accepted the judging assignment, but couldn't resist sketching out some of his own designs. Following are two of the nine sketches:


The Ladies' Mile (pen and ink, by David Byrne)The Ladies' Mile (pen and ink, by David Byrne)


The Villager (pen and ink, by David Byrne)The Villager (pen and ink, by David Byrne)


When Byrne shared his drawings with the DOT, his response was that if he could get them made, the DOT would use them.

"Holy Moses!" David Byrne writes in his blog. "I was over the moon — what happened to the legendary red tape and years of bureaucratic haggling I was supposed to go through?"

David Byrne, it is witnessed by his voluminous achievements in 58 years, makes things happen. He accomplished the resulting nine bike racks by working with the PaceWildenstein Gallery to produce the sculptures, with the commitment that Pace could sell them after a year on display in their respective sites.

From lower Manhatten to Riverside Park, the NYC DOT erected the sculpted bike racks in Byrne's designated sites!

1. The Wall Street Bike Rack

Wall Street between Pearl and River Streets




2. The Hipster Bike Rack

Bedford and North 6th Street (Brooklyn)



3. The Villager Bike Rack

LaGuardia Place between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets



4. The Chelsea Bike Rack

25th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues in front of PaceWildenstein Gallery



5. The Jersey Bike Rack

NW corner of 9th Ave and 39th Street, just before the Lincoln Tunnel



6. The Olde Times Square Bike Rack

SW corner 44th Street & 7th Avenue



7. The MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) Bike Rack

53rd Street between 5th & 6th Avenues



8. The Ladies' Mile

5th Avenue between 57th & 58th Streets, in front of Bergdorf Goodman



9. The Coffee Cup Bike Rack

Amsterdam Avenue between 110th and 111th Street, in front of The Hungarian Pastry Shop




With the exception maybe of the New Jersey bike rack, all of Byrne's bike racks are stationed outside landmark NYC sites, so tourists during the next year can make opportunities to see, or hook their bikes up to, the David Byrne sculptural bike racks.

For music fans of David Byrne, he and Brian Eno just released their first album in 30 years. It's titled Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, and is available exclusively here. But, if you would like to listen to the album, you can find it here (hit "Show Playlist").


source: David Byrne Bike Racks (great map of NYC here with bike racks shown) via Dog Art


Aug 26, 2008
by Anonymous


some of them look nice however those you can just put a lock around and not put the bike in...

Feb 19, 2009
by Anonymous

Bike stands

David as part of a proposition to the City of Toronto for bike stands for the 94 consuloates in Toronto. The following: imagine if we had a group of the 'best' pear chosen, artist from both countries. chosen to design bike-stand-sculptures, tree-guard-bikestand sculptures and artiul steel murals that form a railing around the cities frower pots. The two groups of artists from both countries divide into two teams one team will work on their consulate in the foreign country and the other team to work on the sculptures in the guest consuate their home country. I didn't write this yet but the U.S. I believe should replace these square concrete bustraces that take up green space with some of their beautiful national trees. The trees will have around them arwork from their national heros and artwork from Canadians who want the best for their neighbors, maybe a flower pot. We make them out of the steel you and I have used and they would be as strong as the butresses but stunningly beautiful and never would it cross your mind that they are butresses. This is life in this sad world. But we must think of ways to rise above it. Are you interested in working with us on this project give me a call 416 858-1189 philsarazen.com