Swiss Ambassador Urs Ziswiler and former Zurich mayor Elmar Ledergerber presented the District with 10 artistic bike racks Friday as a gift from the Swiss people. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) accepted the racks as part of Bike to Work Day.
The inverted U-racks are painted in Swiss-themed patterns (cow, Swiss cheese, alps, edelweiss and Swiss flags) by Swiss American artist Annina Luck. "They are meant to symbolize the cooperation between our communities in finding solutions to the environmental challenges that face us," Ziswiler said in a statement.
The embassy worked with the D.C. Department of Transportation and the office of D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) to place the bicycle racks in locations throughout the city, including the John A. Wilson Building, the National Building Museum, near Dupont Circle, and at the Eastern Market and Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro stations. Ledergerber was known as Zurich's "bicycling mayor." His term as head of Switzerland's largest city ended last month.