Ghost-Bikes Aren't Disappearing After All

Memorial bikes could go away under a plan to remove derelict bicycles

By Linda Dimyan
|  Monday, Jun 21, 2010  |  Updated 11:29 PM EDT
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Ghost-Bikes Aren't Disappearing After All

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Ghost Bikes aren't disappearing, after all.

The white-painted bikes left behind at fatal bicycle accident scenes to memorialize fallen riders and to serve a danger warning to future pedestrians and cyclists were facing the possibility of removal under a new Department of Sanitation plan, the Daily News reported.

But family members who lost a loved one on city streets disputed the proposal.

The Daily News reported that the City Sanitation Department axed its plan to remove the bikes after an outcry from families of the killed cyclists.

"This is shocking. I can't believe it," Lizi Rahman told the Daily News about the possibility of  losing the ghost bike memorializing her son, Asif, at 55th Road and Queens Blvd.  "I go there because that's where he breathed last. When I go there, people see me cleaning the ghost bike. They stop and talk to me. They feel close to the family."

The ghostbikes, are part of the Street Memorial Project, which was developed in 2007 to remember those killed in street bike accidents and to raise awareness for bike safety in the city.  So far 67 "ghost bikes" have been chained near the sites of 108 known bicycle fatalities.

The plan to remove the "ghost bikes" along with abandoned bikes that are left to rot on city signs, parking meters and other property was prompted by a handful of complaints, Michael Bellew, head of the agency's cleaning unit told the News.

The public weighed in on the matter at a hearing on July 20th from 9:30 am to 11:30 at 125 Worth Street. 

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