As more people are using bicycles as their main form of transportation, especially within metropolitan areas where most people only travel a few miles everyday, sharing the roads has become more of an issue.
In an attempt to raise public awareness and start a dialog about the rights of cyclists and the problems with our current road sharing systems, people across the country, and across the world, are creating Ghost Bikes as a memorial to those who have been struck or killed while riding on the public streets.
Photo by Howard Kaplan
What Are Ghost Bikes
Ghost Bikes are bikes that have been built from scrap or donated parts that can no longer be reused. They are stripped of all unnecessary parts that could potentially be desicrated or reclaimed for scrapes, painted stark white, then fixed to the site where a cyclist has been hit or killed.
Photo by wiki
The History of Ghost Bikes
The first ghost bike was erected in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003 by Patrick Van Der Tuin. He got the idea after witnessing a cyclist get hit by a car in the bike lane. He painted and placed a bike frame with a hand painted sign using red lettering which read: "Cyclist Struck Here." Since then, similar projects have started across the US and other cities worldwide.
Photo by zalgon
The Meaning Of Ghost Bikes
Ghost Bikes become a beacon on an otherwise anonymous street corner, with the hope that each passing motorists, cyclist and pedestrians will realize the failures of how we currently share public space, and will in turn be more aware of the potential that it is as easy, and unexpected, to be a victim as it is to be a killer. It is a memorial to the person who was hit or killed, but it is also a bold statement of consciousness and awareness to the problems that we face as a community of people. One that will hopefully enact the necessary changes so we can all feel safe to use the public roads.
Photo by minvervah
There are a number of sites dedicated to ghost bike related projects, and there has been a push to create a central worldwide database of every ghost bike. Here are few of a number of sites currently involved in the project.
Title Photo by cecilanne