In Pittsburgh, a city particularly inhospitable to bicycle commuters, cyclists are marking the spots where other bikers have been hit or killed by cars. Old bicycles are painted white and locked to chain link fences or sign posts, then draped with a placard “Cyclist struck here – ghostbike.org.” The images are chilling.

GBP is a group of concerned bicycle commuters who have seen lives destroyed by the lack of concern by city government and automobile drivers in general. They see Pittsburgh as a city with an uninviting transportation infrastructure, a government reluctant to accommodate their needs, and a set of laws that leans toward the rights of motorists and ignores unprotected bicyclists. … Bicycling remains a viable form of transportation that can reduce roadway congestion, air pollution, noise, parking needs, energy use, and above all, to provide more daily physical exercise for everyone.

Even though Pittsburgh’s Dept. of Public Works has been removing ghost bikes from the sites where they hang, GBP encourages people in other cities to mobilize similar actions.

Posted Thursday, June 24th, 2004 at 12:49 am
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Responses to “Ghost Bike”

Andy Breglia

It is too bad someone can’t come up with some sort of template that can be used to spray-paint this information right on the pavement where the cyclist was killed or seriously injured. Of course, with our luck, they’ll come after the people doing the memorial.

Jim Doherty

I do find it odd that the fine of $211 is assessed. In Berkeley, Ca, that is the dollar amount of the fine for “operation” of a bicycle on the sidewalk, where the bike racks are installed. (The mere operation of a bike is prohibited on the sidewalks in Berkeley, where the bike racks are installed Kamikaze bikers under the age of 18, it’s OK to ride the sidewalks, also of course riding the sidewalks is OK if you are a Police officer.) Also by Berkeley Municipal Ordinance, every concievable misdeed by bicycle is a criminal misdemeanor, even locking a bike to a parking meter in Berkeley is a criminal misdemeanor.

That an unlicensed driver could have killed a bicyclist and had this reduced to an infraction is unconscionable. “Sentence” the Judge to riding a bike to work.

There is a guy in San Francisco who’s made it a pet project of his own to keep track of pedestrian (and bicyclist?)casualties on the streets of San Francisco. This includes some pavement markings I believe. I also think some press on M. Sperry’s fate and the ghost bike stuff could help.