Last weekend I got my first chance to ride over the new Clinton Library Park Bridge. It was a wonderful ride. On the North Little Rock side I came across a bronze statue of a boy on a bicycle. It was an interesting thing to see, obviously not permanently in place but fitting as a welcome from the North Little Rock area to the new bicycle/pedestrian bridge. I took a photo of it, my wife Lisa and friend Daron posing in front. Other people seemed to congregate around it as they were taking a break from the crowds on the bridge.
I was curious about it so I called North Little Rock Mayor, Pat Hay’s office to find out the story on the statue. The first thing that Mayor Hays said was, “We like public art in North Little Rock.” He then went on to explain that some time ago North Little Rock Alderman, Murry Witcher saw the piece on sale while visiting an art dealer and asked the mayor if he was interested. The mayor decided to go ahead and purchase the statue for the city with no placement in mind. He said they paid approximately $5000 for the statue. Just days before the dedication of the Clinton Library Bridge the mayor had the public works department add it to the temporary decorations for the North Little Rock landing of the bridge at Riverfront Drive and Virginia Kelley Drive. I asked when it would be placed permanently and he said that he wasn’t sure at this point if it would be staying. The city plans to have a landscape architect design a small park area there and at that point they would decide if it would remain. He envisions a fountain there (it would be nice to have both). If it doesn’t, he said they would find another appropriate spot for it.
During the day of the dedication I saw quite a few people stop to take their photos in front of “Bicycle Boy” with the bridge in the background. I hope it stays there but as Mayor Hays said, “There are a lot of places in North Little Rock where it would be appropriate.” Ride on bicycle boy, ride on.