Have you ever seen a white bike tied to a stationary object at the side of a road, adorned with flowers and other tokens of grief?
That’s a ghost bike – and they can be seen in 220 cities all over the world at the sites of fatal accidents involving cyclists.
Where did they start?
The ghost bike movement started in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003, when a local artist created one as a tribute to a fallen friend. The idea quickly gained traction and spread to other cities – but these white-painted bicycles serve as far more than mere urban art installations.
Instead, they’re a profound and important message about roadway dangers and the vulnerability of cyclists in the modern urban landscape. Each one tells the story of a unique life that’s been lost far too soon, and they serve as a painful reminder that both motorists and cyclists need to be vigilant on the roads if there’s going to be any progress when it comes to safety.
Ghost bikes also foster a sense of community among cyclists, and they raise awareness among the general public of the dangers cyclists face just trying to commute from one place to the next. They’re a silent plea for stricter enforcement of traffic laws to protect vulnerable road users and changes in urban landscapes and infrastructures to better accommodate the needs of cyclists and pedestrians alike.
Unfortunately, cyclists continue to be uniquely endangered by serious injuries and fatalities in wrecks with vehicles – and there are accidents every day. If you’re injured in a cycling accident through the actions of another driver or a loved one is hurt, obtaining experienced legal guidance is the best way to protect your future interests.