Arts Conjecture: Ghost Bike Garden


by Liam Smith, 2019

This is a progression of the existing ghost bikes idea, which is centered around installing an all-white bike near the location of where a cyclist has been killed. Instead of locating it on the site they died, it would be in a public park, and highly visible. The perpetrator of the cyclists death would be required to maintain the garden as part of community service to remind them of what they had done, in addition to their normal sentence.

By creating a garden, they are providing a service to the public while beautifying the memorial of the victim. It also symbolizes the healing and reconciliation the perpetrator would be undergoing throughout the process of gardening. Since it is also a time-consuming task, they would have plenty of time to reflect on their careless actions. Furthermore, gardening has some therapeutic qualities which are beneficial since, assuming they are not a sociopath, the driver would have their own trauma to deal with.

Finally, this project would help extend the reach of the ghost bike network. Currently, it is mostly limited to New York City with some outliers in other cities. This is largely due to a lack of visibility. Installing more bikes in other cities, even those without high numbers of cyclist fatalities, would help bring safety into the public eye.