Ghostbike in Santa Monica

Ghostbike in Santa Monica

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed on the street. The memorial consists of a bicycle which is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. The bike serves as a reminder of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as a quiet statement in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel. The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. According to the ghostbike website,  there are over 500 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 180 locations throughout the world.

Ghost bikes are a common sight in New York City. They are hard to miss; their white surface stands out against the grey dust of that urban center. Recently, a ghost bike appeared on the Pacific Coast Highway near the California Incline in Santa Monica. Set against the sparkling sea and leaning against a light pole on one of the clean, wide sidewalks Los Angeles is known for, the quiet monument disappears into the visual field of  a Southern California summer…

…but hopefully not its poignant message.

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