South Street bike path medians get colorful makeover with art sculptures

Traffic safety improvements come in more shades than drab, concrete gray.

The Department of Transportation unveiled temporary art sculptures on the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway’s bike medians on the East Side Monday. The colorful abstract and representational shapes were installed along the stretch of new medians that span a half-mile of bike lanes.

“It’s almost like a movie when you pass by these wonderful art pieces,” said Wendy Feuer, assistant commissioner of urban design, art and wayfinding at the Transportation Department.

The project, titled “We Call This Place Home,” features shapes that were designed by more than 100 residents ranging in ages from five to over 65 who live in the surrounding Two Bridges and Lower East Side neighborhoods. Sculptures vary from playful, Matisse-like figures to more realistic—like the silhouettes of a flatbed truck or soda cup.

Artists Samuel Holleran and Chat Travieso conceived the project and worked with the Hester Street Collaborative and theDOT to deliver the $12,000 installation after State Sen. Daniel Squadron requested the city to beautify the area of greenway that’s shaded under the FDR Drive.

“While it seems like it’s maybe a small change, it’s a change that really helps build community and improve people’s relationship with the public space and the civic space,” said Squadron.