Urban Velo

Ghost Bike Memories Getting Pieced

Those ghost bike memorials, despite being painted entirely in white, are starting to get parts stolen as they sit unattended and basically neglected. I suppose this is inevitable, but a conversation has begun whether this is the equivalent of stealing a graveyard headstone. These ARE memorials, though they do go neglected and sit in public spaces both taking up potential bike parking and lend to the idea that there are no “eyes on the street”. As this article points out, there isn’t much discussion as to the assumed longevity of these memorials and whether anyone should expect them to stay forever or get relocated at some point. So at what point does a well-intentioned memorial turn into an eyesore, or worse, a hazard and what should be done with them? We obviously can’t have a city crowded with ghost bikes as more and more cyclists get rundown by inattentive or reckless drivers. The comment section in the above article has good points from either side of the debate, but what do you think? Should we expect them to go untouched, should they be removed by the city after a specific period or should they be relocated to a final resting place elsewhere?

Via The Brooklyn Paper

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

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3 Comments

  1. DanielAugust 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

    In Anchorage one of the local bike orgs has a ghost bike that is used for such memorials and then put away- hopefully forever but you know how that goes. I believe there is an agreement with the municipality of how long it will stand at any certain place, seems to be a month or two.

    In some cases after the ghost bike has been removed there has been a Share the Road or some similar cycle orientated road sign erected with a ‘In memory of_____’ attached to it.

  2. scottAugust 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I personally feel, if you leave a ghost bike up for an indefinate amount of time it loses its meaning. People who drive by it everyday go from seeing a reminder of what happens when you aren’t a mindful driver, to overlooking it because it is now part of their daily commute. You can be desensitized to these things. 2 months seems like a good length of time. From there… maybe plant a tree or donate a bike rack in the person’s name. Hold a ride in their name each year, whatever works.

  3. Gay TushinghamOctober 23, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Where do you buy a ghost bike.

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