Ghost bikes in Colorado
What are those all-white bikes chained to signs?
Ever seen a ghost bike?
They’re more common in bigger cities, but what you’re looking at is an awareness-raising memorial to a cyclist killed by an automobile.
These visually striking bikes are reminders to cyclists and motorists alike. In April 2010, the Denver Post noticed an increase in usage of ghost bikes in Colorado.
Part of the mystery, he said, is that there aren’t too many ghost bikes in Colorado, a reflection of its low number of bicycle fatalities.
In a 2010 study titled Bicycling and Walking in America, Colorado had 1.8 fatalities per 10,000 bicycles.
Vermont had zero fatalities, and Alabama had the most: 22.5 deaths per 10,000 bicycles.
A letter to the editor at the Camera thanked whoever was installing ghost bikes in Boulder.
WHEN DO GHOST BIKES GO AWAY?
From the Post story:
People are left to wonder whether the mystery installers return to remove them, or whether they’re carted away by local transportation agencies.
In Colorado, “we won’t remove them unless they are a safety hazard or unusually distracting,” said Stacey Stegman, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
However, ghost bikes do fall into a “very gray area of the law,” she said. “They could be considered litter, an advertising device that sends a message, or abandoned property.”