Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

September 11, 2009


Mark Segraves, WTOP - Ghost bikes are invading a busy downtown intersection. It's part-memorial and part-civil disobedience, according to the man responsible for placing 22 bikes around the intersection of 20th and R Streets in Northwest.

The bikes - some adult, some kids bikes with training wheels - all painted bright white from tire to tire are meant to memorialize Alice Swanson, a cyclist who was killed as she rode her bike to work in July 2008. A trash truck making a right turn struck Swanson as she crossed in the bike lane.

Just days after the accident, Swanson's family and friends placed a ghost bike at the intersection as a memorial. The bike remained for more than a year until the city removed it late last month. That move drew the ire of Swanson's family and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

WABA Executive Director Eric Gilliland, who helped organize the original ghost bike memorial and had asked the mayor's office to delay removing it, criticized the removal.

"To have the original bike removed without the permission of the family, I think is really in bad taste," Gilliland said. . .

Fenty spokesperson Mafara Hobson would only say, "public memorials are removed after 30 days."

Only one of the bikes is locked to a light pole; the others are just leaning against signs and newspaper boxes.

Carrefour says he expects the city to remove these bikes as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Send the family a bill for illegal parking.

September 12, 2009 3:36 AM  

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