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Pulling up on his Specialized Allez bike, Ben Green faced a big decision: Tie up to the stylish squash? The inviting carrots? Or the happy broccoli?

The Yale rising senior, a squash man at heart, is the “super intern” in the office of city traffic tsar Jim Travers.In less than ten months he has spearheaded (broccoli-like) the creation and fabrication of the newest piece of public art in town. It’s useful art: a new mixed-vegetable bike rack installed this week in front of Claire’s Corner Copia vegetarian restaurant.

Travers’ department plans to install three or four more similar artistic racks around town to tell the bicycling community, if they didn’t know it already: “You’re wanted! You’re respected! You’re artistic!”

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Claire’s owner Claire Criscuolo donated $600 for the rack. Yale threw in the steel tubing; a $1,200 mayor’s community arts grant went toward a pipe bender. The artistic and design hours came from the Design for America Workshop at Yale and from the Creative Arts Workshop.

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Whimsy & Utility In Balance
Noted sculptor and CAW teacher Ann Lehman and her crew did the design and fabrication. The project fuses utility with whimsy.

Green and some Yale colleagues floated the art-bike rack idea 10 months ago. Travers responded: Find the money. Find a merchant willing to have it outside the front door. We’ll install it.

Criscuolo responded to a flyer; she told Green she’d been telling aldermen who to her restaurant that she wants a bike rack out front, but one with more whimsy that the standard-issue city version.

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This is a repost from the New Haven Independent. Check it out the original article here!