As we know in New York City, despite the fact that the seemingly easiest way to get away with murder is to hit someone on a bicycle, cycling fatalities rarely lead to an arrest. But still, cyclists are killed every couple of weeks in New York. The last fatality, I believe, was when a 13-year-old was run over in Bensonhurst.

Nationally, over 700 people are killed each year while riding a bike. The League of American Bicyclists has quietly begun analyzing cycling fatalities and found…data! Some of the standout statistics are that a vast majority of those killed were male (88%) and “more than a third (35%) of cyclists killed were hit from behind.” Ouch. The League of American Bicyclists envisions this site as telling the story of the people who rode the ghost bikes we see dotting the streets.

The Ghost Bike Project, started by Jessie Singer in New York City, has memorialized cyclist killed throughout since 2005. And what started as a map of all of the ghost bikes in New York City has spread globally. There’s actually a ghost bike in front of my apartment. I look at it every day and I am reminded of the many dangers of riding my bike.

Read this inspiring interview with Jessie Singer on how the ghost bike project started.

And we built a bike for him and then we couldn’t stop. And now its 80 bikes and 6 years later, the ghost bike project hasn’t changed much. It’s just a venue to make a death — that would otherwise disappear — be public and noticeable and present for a long time after the city’s new cycles have rolled. And that’s how the project started.

 

(Photo: Salim Virji/Flickr)