New sculpture on PSU campus will celebrate Oregon’s Bike Bill
Author: Jennifer Vo-Nguyen, PSU Media & Public Relations
Posted: December 14, 2018

A new sculpture designed by PSU architecture students will be installed sometime next spring to pay tribute to Oregon’s Bicycle Bill.

Adopted in 1971, the bill requires a minimum of one percent of state highway funds be contributed to cycling and walking infrastructure. Sam Oakland, a former PSU English professor who died in 2014, worked tirelessly to advocate lawmakers for the bill to pass. 

The Oregon Environmental Council (OEC), an environmental advocacy group, proposed and funded the $16,000 sculpture to be displayed at PSU because of Oakland’s connection with the university. 

Bike Bill Sculpture

“This sculpture is important because the bike bill was one of the many progressive bills that has contributed to a wonderful lifestyle and environment in the state,” said Dan Zalkow, PSU’s associate vice president for planning, construction and real estate. “This bill helped the state lead the nation in the development of bicycle transportation infrastructure.” 

PSU has always been a strong supporter of bike transportation, Zalkow said, and the connection of a former faculty member to this bill makes PSU the ideal place to tell the story of how Oregon’s bike-friendly environment came to be.  

The design and building of the sculpture is being led by Aaron Whelton, an assistant professor at PSU’s School of Architecture. Whelton became involved with the project because it allowed his architecture students to test out their parametric and digital design skills on a real project. 

“The Bike Bill project is a perfect opportunity to connect my digital design and fabrication research with teaching,” Whelton said. “My students are using their knowledge of architecture and design to serve the city with a meaningful sculpture about an important, though overlooked, aspect of our state’s history.”  

The bike sculpture will be made of steel pipes that are composed into the form of a cyclist in motion. It will be placed near the PSU’s Millar Library bike garage and the food carts behind the Blackstone Resident Hall.   

Former and current PSU architecture students involved with the project include Jonathon Brearley, Griffin Lutz, Kip Olkowski, Kagan Reardon and Molly Jacobs.

Video caption: Fly through animation of bike bill sculpture.
Photo caption: Bike bill sculpture rendering.