New York City Memorial Project: Remembering walkers and cyclists killed on the city’s streets

On Sunday, the NYC Street Memorial Project held the 6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, 151 pedestrians and 18 bicyclists were killed on the streets of New York City in 2010. Participants called for stronger measures to reduce traffic fatalities. The ride culminated by installing a “Ghost Bike” in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall for the unnamed pedestrians and cyclists killed in 2010.

The 6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk

We think it is fair to say that if we want a fair deal for safe streets in our cities those of us who care have to learn to organise for it and through our collective actions find ways to bring a majority of people to share these views.  Look at how these young people are taking hold of this responsibility in New York City, in this short film by videographer Elizabeth Press of Streetfilms.

* * * Click here for video * * *

Ghost Bikes

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.

The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003, and they have since appeared in over 150 locations throughout the world. For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again — but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed.

More:

Ghostbikes.org is intended to be a site for the worldwide cycling community. For information on ghost bike work being done in your area, click one of the locations listed on the right, or check out the full list.

This site was initially set up by the NYC Street Memorial Project. We work hard to collect information on many other locations, but for the most part only have access to media reports. This site reflects NYC’s project very well, but much of our information on other places is incomplete. We want to encourage people everywhere to help fill in the blanks on this site and help it grow.

We hope to create a space where those lost on dangerous streets can be remembered by their loved ones, members of their local communities, and others from around the world. We also hope to inspire more people to start installing ghost bikes in their communities and to initiate changes that will make us all safer on the streets.

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3 responses to “New York City Memorial Project: Remembering walkers and cyclists killed on the city’s streets

  1. I wish people would stop marketing Cycling as walking as unsafe.
    The health benefits are far greater then the Risks. We need to start advertising that Cycling and Walking are the safe thing to do.
    Driving motor vehicles is unsafe both for you and others. Inactivity is so harmful to peoples health.

    Lets start getting the message right.

  2. I agree with Robin !
    But on the other hand we are not going to make the ghost bikes go away. Some people really feel they need to do this. But possibly, the action one can take most likely to have a positive impact would be to contact ghostbikes.org , and discuss how the message about how to make cycling and walking even safer can be disseminated ?

    Here is a quote from one of the press releases sent out in New York :
    ‘ Participants are demanding the City take stronger measures to reduce traffic fatalities citywide, through necessary improvements to street design, enforcement and education to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

    “Brooklyn has emerged as a hotspot in the bicycling renaissance, and is the location of more Ghost Bikes this year than any other borough,” says Leah Todd, a volunteer with the New York City Street Memorial Project. “While public officials here have been slow to endorse safety measures, like amenities to support the wave of new bicyclists or public education campaigns for the most dangerous drivers, we hope this ride and these memorials will draw attention to the costs of ignoring the need for safer streets.” ‘

    I feel they could develop that message better, and it would be a good idea I think to attach a message to each bike like bit.ly/ghostbike_why (does not exist at present), where things like safety in numbers, traffic calming, shared space, road danger reduction as opposed to road safety, strict liability (like in NL + DK) are presented.

    Best Regards,
    Morten ( street sentinel in Reykjavik, Iceland)

  3. What I meant was, that a short URL lika bit.ly/ghostbikes_why would point to a web-page where these things were explained and further links and pointers provided.

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