Saturday, August 17, 2013

Roadside Attractions: Ghost Bike

Earlier this week, a cyclist was struck and killed by a semi-trailer on the outskirts of my town.

According to newspaper accounts, the semi-trailer driver failed to yield to the cyclist as he turned into a landscaping company driveway. The cyclist hit the truck's rear wheels and was instantly killed.

Later that same day a “ghost bike” appeared near the scene of the accident, placed anonymously.

The next day I rode my bike up to the scene of the accident to see it, and photograph the ghost bike for myself. I took the picture at left, converted it to greyscale, and tweaked it to enhance the bike's luminescence. But that pure white bicycle already glowed in the bright afternoon sun.

Ghost bikes have been placed at the scenes of more than 500 fatal bike accidents worldwide over the last ten years, the newspaper said – part of an informal awareness movement.

"What can we do to reduce likelihood of the crashes?" asked someone with an advocacy group called Bikes Belong. "Can we change how our streets and roads work? How our system works? Can we better educate all road users to be more careful, to be more aware?"

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