If you are a bicycle rider, the next time you venture to the Downtown Arts District, check out the new sign at the corner of Texas Avenue and North Ashbel Street. The sign not only welcomes you to the neighborhood, but it serves as a bike rack.
The bike rack spells out the words “Downtown Arts District” in red and blue colors.
The Historic Baytown’s Arts, Culture and Entertainment Council is responsible for placing the rack there. It is the council’s first major purchase from its fundraiser, Christmas on Texas Avenue.
Dr. Yvonne Thomas, council president, said the rack cost $1,500.
“What we decided to do with the funds is something that would help develop the area,” Thomas-Chapa said. “We had a meeting with the members, and everyone liked the bike rack idea, so we decided to go with that.”
Thomas said the council was first going to send the bike rack out for bids, but Baytown Parks and Recreations Supervisor Clifford Hatch told her his department could design and paint it while the council provided the funds.
“The whole idea is to develop the area and put up some kind of beauty,” Thomas-Chapa said. “We have also talked about putting in statues around there. Next week, we’ll meet to decide what to do with the funds we raised this year. The whole idea is to put something back into the area/community.”
Michelle Jiron, the council’s treasurer, said the rack would give cyclers a more suitable place to park their bikes.
“When the weather is nice, and when there are events such as the 4th of July, people come here and visit,” Jiron said. “We’ve noticed they will tie their bikes up to lampposts and benches and places like that. So, we thought this would be the first major purchase with the money we’ve raised.”
Jiron said people should be able to tell the sign is also a bike rack.
“It is an art piece and a bike rack. It is like ones we saw in San Francisco,” she said. “It is a new addition to this area to show people we are trying to bring it back to where it used to be.”