In December, 2018, Riderless Bikes were placed at the corners of Tenth Avenue and Dunbar and Tenth Avenue and Redford, the sites of two cyclist deaths in Port Alberni within the 12 months from December 2017 to December 2018.
Riderless Bikes, sometimes called Ghost Bikes, are bicycles painted all-white and placed at the site where a person riding a bike has died. They are small and sombre memorials for cyclists killed by motor vehicles. The installations are meant as reminders of the tragedy that took place, and as quiet statements in support of the right of all people to safe travel.
Riderless Bikes do not lay blame or place fault. All road users need to pay attention to each other and share the road safely, and streets must be designed to allow everyone to travel in safety, including pedestrians and people on bikes.
For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow cyclist hits home. We all travel the same streets and face the same risks, and realize it could just as easily be any one of us.
The first Riderless Bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003, and they have since appeared in at least 130 cities throughout the world including several Canadian cities. More information on Riderless Bikes around the world is available at ghostbikes.org.