The Continuing Tale of Bicycle Boy

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Standing guard, ever vigilant, since the opening of the Clinton Presidential Library Bridge last fall, Bicycle Boy has been watching cyclists and pedestrians travel along the Arkansas River Trail. At the base of the bridge on the North Little Rock side of the river, Bicycle Boy has been performing his track stand alone for over a year in a small field of grass adjacent to Riverfront Drive.

I first wrote about Bicycle Boy in early October of 2011. Most everyone is aware of retiring Mayor Pat Hays’ fondness of bicycles. He told me at the time that the city would find a place for bicycle boy. And it seems they have been working on it.

Yesterday, Arkansas Outside friend and fellow cyclists Willa Williams and Bernadette Rhodes who work for North Little Rock Fit 2 Live, and were instrumental in the success of Take A Kid Mountain biking Day, informed me of plans for the area at the base of the bridge on the North Little Rock side. The city would like to build a small plaza in the grassy field that Bicycle Boy has been watching over.

Conceptual Drawing of "Bicycle Boy Park"
Conceptual Drawing of “Bicycle Boy Plaza” (click for pdf)

The design places the bicycle boy statue on a rock surrounded by water. A moat is not a bad idea given the recent rash of artwork thefts in the parks across the river. Besides, water features always add to the ambiance of these small parks. Mayor Hays had said that one plan was to put a fountain in the area and this looks like a nice compromise.

The plaza looks like a nice place to take a break, have a picnic and may also spur more economic development on the eastern portion of Riverfront Drive. My only complaint is the use of the name “Biker Boy”. It’s “Bicycle Boy” and always will be to me. Biker Boy makes me think of someone wearing chaps with his “old lady” riding on the back. I have nothing against motorcycles at all but this kid is definitely on a bicycle.

As with any government project, the crux of the situation is funding. Willa tells us that the city does not currently have funding to build the plaza which is estimated at around $300.000. They are currently looking for private funding to help make this happen. Possibly even a foundation could be started to help continue raising funds for upkeep and maintenance. It would be another good example of the private sector and local government working together to make the city more attractive to both current residents and those looking to relocate here.

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If you have suggestions on raising funds please post them here and I will pass them on or you may contact the office of the mayor of North Little Rock directly.

Phone: 501-340-5301
E-mail: mayor@northlittlerock.ar.gov

 

 

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