Grand Rapids Ghost Bike by Patrick Goff
Summer in Michigan is a time when you’ll see a lot more bikes on the road, and I offer today’s post with the sincere hope that everyone who reads it remembers that 75% of all bicycle fatalities are caused by driver error. It’s your duty as a driver to PAY ATTENTION as you pilot a several thousand pound machine that can become a deadly weapon in an instant. GhostBikes.org shares:
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. Currently there are over 500 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 180 locations throughout the world. (current number is well over 600) 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.
Patrick took this photo back in 2010. See more in his Hipstamatic gallery on Flickr.
PS: There’s a Michigan Ghostbikes group on Facebook in case you’d like to join.
I sincerely hope that everyone who reads today’s post remembers that three-quarters of all bicycle fatalities are caused by driver error. It’s your duty as a driver to PAY ATTENTION as you pilot a several thousand pound machine that can become a deadly weapon if you are not vigilant. I would also add that I am in no mood today to hear about the cases where cyclists violate the rules of the road. That does not happen in 3/4 of car/bike fatalities including this one…
Ghost Bike, photo by Patrick Goff
Today’s picture shows a ghost bike, a white-painted memorial for a bicyclists who was killed or struck while riding on the street. Accompanied by a small plaque, they serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place at their location and as enduring statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.
The city of Kalamazoo now has need for a host of ghost bikes after the deadly bicycle crash on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 where five bicyclists died when a pickup truck hit them on Westnedge Avenue. Four more cyclists were seriously injured. That link has photos from last night’s Ride of Silence and also the horrible damage to the bikes.
Kalamazoo Strong is taking donations to help the victims and families of this tragedy.
View Patrick’s photo of a ghost bike from Grand Rapids bigger and see more in his slideshow.
Here’s a video from the Ride of Silence…
Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, photo by Bill Dolak
This pic reminded me of an article I read a couple weeks ago in the Detroit News on the economic impact of bicycles in Michigan:
Bicycling pumps an estimated $668 million per year into Michigan’s economy, according to a recent report from the Michigan Department of Transportation. That figure factors in the nearly 800 people employed in bicycle-related jobs, along with retail revenue, tourism expenses, lower health care costs and a boost in productivity.
The study, “Community and Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Michigan,” put the spotlight on five communities to gauge how the sport affects their bottom line.
Michigan’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids, benefited most from cycling. It earned $39.1 million, nearly double the $20.7 million Detroit brings in. Ann Arbor easily grabbed second place with a $25.4 million boost.
…Grand Rapids began adding bike lanes on city streets in 2010 and now has 55 miles of bike lanes with more planned. It has a cycle track, hundreds of bike racks and an extensive trail network in the suburbs, said Suzanne Schulz, Grand Rapids’ managing director of design, development and community engagement.
“We are really trying to take a more holistic view of transportation infrastructure for the entire community because a lot of people don’t have cars,” Schulz said.
Read on for more or dig into the full study from MDOT.
Bill took this shot on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. View it background bigtacular and see more in his Michigan: Kalamazoo County slideshow.
More bikes and bicycles and more fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!