Cyclists and pedestrians who love both Overton Park and the Shelby Farms Greenline will soon have a safe way of connecting between the two. In spring 2014, construction was completed on a new bicycle and pedestrian plaza at the East Parkway entrance to Overton Park. The plaza leads to the new Hampline trail connection that links the park to the Greenline via Broad Avenue. Benches, water fountains, directional signage, and other features make the plaza a welcome stop on the citywide trail system.
With lead sponsorship from the First Tennessee Foundation, the new plaza has an incredible visual component, a sculptural gateway made entirely of bikes and other wheeled objects. Artist Tylur French created the Bike Gate arch from more than 300 scrap bicycles. In order to stand out visually from the tree canopy behind it, the sculpture is several layers thick, with masses of bicycles, tricycles, wheelchairs, and unique shapes like tandem and pennyfarthing bikes.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation also funded construction of a new bike path that connects the plaza to the Old Forest trail system, enabling cyclists to connect to the park without having to jump curbs and ride through grass.
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We documented the progress of Bike Gate’s fabrication from Tylur French’s studio into the park. Click here to start at the beginning.