Utility NOW! Projects. Sumter County, Alabama. 2003-2007.

The Utility NOW! bicycle project was initiated while in residence at the Rural Studio in 2002. The project began as a creative way to solve a public works issue in the City of York (lack of transportation and waste pick up) and then evolved to become a temporary  independent program within the city. The project deploys utility tricycles and bicycles for routine city maintenance. Each vehicle is designed for a specific duty (garbage collection, street clean up, meter reading, etc.). The workshop created 4 prototype utility tricycles and 2 bicycles for the city to use. Bicycle trailers were also added to aid in the vehicles ability to transport additional tools and materials.

The Bicycle Shed is a rehabilitation project completed on a failing, city-owned structure in York, Alabama, created by the municipalWORKSHOP, an outrider to the M12 Collective. The structure’s main purpose is to house the Utility NOW! vehicles that were created by the municipalWORKSHOP in 2003. This project involves a number of low-impact design features and has become a catalyst for a community bicycle-recycling program in York. Community volunteers Jessie Cunningham and Ervin Sturdivant, Jr. currently run the bicycle-recycling workshop with the help of the Coleman Center for Art and Culture. The Bicycle Shed’s water system works through rainwater harvesting, and all of the used water is pumped outside the building to surrounding plant beds. A hand washing station is located at the back of the building, and the structure is equipped with a functional TV/Radio antenna and a small solar power platform.