Someone suggested them again this weekend as a way to mark the spots where cyclists have died on the roads. The thinking seems to be that these eerie memorials will raise the awareness of those who pass by and maybe prompt them to drive more carefully.
For the record: I understand the impulse and the sentiment, but if I should fall victim to a careless motorist I do not want a ghost bike.
I don’t want people to be afraid to ride their bicycles. I don’t want anyone to waste their time putting a ghost bike by the side of the road when it almost certainly will be removed as junk before very long.
What I want instead, and what I suggest that you do for other victims rather than mark the spot with a bicycle painted white:
- Call and write to your city council representatives, your law enforcement people, your state legislators and your federal elected officials.
- Go to meetings where decisions are made and make your case.
- Say out loud what you think and what you want done to make the roads safer.
- Hold officials accountable until they make and laws that will make a difference. Those people work for you.
- Demand action.
- Don’t stop.
Put up ghost bikes for other people if you like, but do these other things, too.
They will be more effective.