A few months after colourful bikes began appearing on Toronto sidewalks as part of an art project, the initiative is being scrapped.
Many of the neon-coloured spray painted bikes have been vandalized, stripped for parts and knocked down creating what some say is more of an eyesore. Now two local artists face the daunting task of collection all 70 of them. Daunting because Caroline Macfarlane, who started the project, doesn't have a car and says the city is doing nothing to help, reports NOW Magazine.
"In our initial discussion with the city they made it very clear that they had no money to help us fund the project, but that they would help us secure sponsors, help us get the bikes out, and help us remove them," says Macfarlane to NOW. "None of that really happened."
The project started when Macfarlane turned an abandoned bike outside the Ontario College of Art and Design into a piece of urban art by stripping it and painting it in eye-catching neon-pink. The bike received a removal notice, but after some media attention, Councillor Gary Crawford suggested the city should support its expansion instead of remove it.
The 'Good Bike' project received unanimous support from city council in June and started showing up on sidewalks in August.
Crawford helped in getting the city to donate dozens of abandoned bikes. Even Mayor Rob Ford, who has seemed anti-cycling at times, mounted a pink bike in city hall to show his support. Macfarlane and fellow artist Vanessa Nichols spray painted all the bikes and locked them to different posts and racks around the downtown core.
But a lot has changed in a couple months and now Macfarlane and Nicholas have received complaints asking for the bikes to be removed.
While Macfarlane is asking for help, Crawford tells NOW the artists always wanted the project "to be an independent project separate from any city-run program."
Crawford has offered to personally drive around the pick up some bikes. A member of the bike community has also offered use of her truck, but wants the collective to have use of the bikes for spare parts.
"All in all, I feel really good about the project," Macfarlane says to NOW. "But it's just this last little bit that's hard to deal with without support. I don't want it to end on a bad note."
(Yahoo! Canada News photo)