Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Bicyclist Remembered: A Ghost Bike and a Bouquet

Ghost bike memorial for Nils Linke, young man killed on Masonic while riding his bike

A testament to loss and, hopefully, a witness for safety to come

A simple gesture and tribute to tragic loss on Masonic

Nils Linke, the 21-year-old bicyclist killed by a motorist Friday night, is being remembered with silent tributes on Masonic Avenue near Turk Street while advocates push for traffic calming and city officials consider what can be implemented now.

Yesterday a simple bouquet of daffodils was taped to a tree by a neighbor who told BIKE NOPA that he wanted to show respect for a fellow European. He also emphasized that he felt strongly about making bicycling safer on Masonic. "I feel speeding and the speed limit is the primary concern," he said.

Today a ghost bike was added to the intersection along with flowers and candles. Ghost bikes often express sadness and solidarity for the loss of someone injured or killed while biking on a particular street. They also serve as a political statement about unsafe conditions or lack of biking facilities on a street. Motorists who stopped at the Turk Street signal today definitely noticed the bright white bike even if they were unfamiliar with its symbolism.

Since the bicyclist's death Friday night -- one that many observers are attributing to the lack of a separated bike lane -- city officials have taken another look at traffic calming on Masonic to determine what might be implemented now to complement the longer-term planning project underway.

All photos: c 2010 Michael Helquist

1 comment:

  1. September 8, 2010 5PM
    I just witnessed a city employee removing this particular ghost bike and its associated candles and flowers from the sidewalk as I was passing by.
    New York City is looking at issuing 30-day notices before removing ghost bikes from city property. Perhaps similar measures should be considered here.