Monday, November 7, 2011

Ghost Bikes

Ghost bikes. Have you seen them? Today, a strangely warm Haligonian day, I had quite a bit of driving to do for work and noticed many bicycles out and about. (As a side note, have you been outside on a warm-ish fall day and felt "I could TOTALLY be practicing yoga outside today. I wish I wasn't working"? Today was one of those days. It's almost problematic where I get a vivid image of what I would be wearing, how it would feel, the air against my skin during warrior II. Distracting.).

(Ghost Bike, photo credit)

Halifax has a Ghost Bike on North Street (click here for a picture) and it honestly did seem to appear out of nowhere. A tiny traffic island right off the MacDonald Bridge and there is a painted white bicycle with a small plaque. According to the site:

"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."

A bit of creative searching, it would appear the Ghost Bike is the result of the bicycle death of Michael Brooker in 2007. I'm not 100% sure, but it would appear a purple bicycle was locked to a telephone poll and the public participated in painting it white as a community act of memorial.

That small area isn't the best place to pull over to take a picture.

A lot has changed in the past 4 years since his death, but bicycling in Halifax is still risky business. Sustainability demands less reliance on climate changing, air polluting automobiles (did you know that acid rain has slowly been on the rise?).

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Ghost bikes! Yeah, we have had 'em around here(Mpls/Twin Cities)though I can't say I've seen one in my recent travels. We may have gotten the "Bike Friendly" title in the US in the last few years, but riding Downtown is still a pretty scary prospect, even with designated lanes. There was a ghost bike close to Nicollet Mall(originally a pedestrian mall)for quite a while- I could see it from the light rail route.Did these start in Halifax proper?

  2. They actually started in St Louis, and i think this is the only ghost bike in the atlantic provinces actually...

  3. ghost bikes are common sight in brooklyn. sadly several people died biking in my neighborhood just in the last six months, i see one of the ghost bikes on my daily morning commute - a reminder to be extra careful.

  4. There is one in Houston I have seen for years whenever I visit. Just think how many Ghost Bikes there would be if we had one for every cyclist killed. I am cyclist, so naturally this post resonates with me deeply.


I love hearing from you! So I don't miss a comment, I like "pre-approving" them :)
I ask only that we stay respectful.
Also, please note that this is a personal blog and not a space for advertising your company. I reserve the right to delete "advertising" comments.

**NB: The ANONYMOUS option is the BEST way to comment if you don't have a blogger or established google/gmail account.