The Ghost Bike that appeared over the weekend to memorialize cyclist Alex Motsenigos at the Weston Road/Linden Street spot where he was killed in an accident over the summer was removed at the request of the Wellesley Police.
“Items cannot be stored on public property,” according to the police department, which says Chief Terrence Cunningham spoke to the person who put the white bike there. The police are still conducting accident scene reconstruction investigations as well, so would prefer the area be unobstructed.
Such Ghost Bike removals are not uncommon, with communities citing the bikes as being obstructions as well as possible driver distractions. There’s also consideration for the family/friends of victims, who might not want to see such a reminder every time they pass by.
For example police in Denver allowed one Ghost Bike to stay for 30 days, but required it to be removed after that because it was blocking a public way on the sidewalk. Ghost Bike proponents there said the bike was not only a memorial for a cyclist killed in a hit-and-run incident, but served as a reminder that the case had not been resolved. Policies differ on Ghost Bikes around the world, from New York City to San Diego and to Australia to Northern Ireland.
Ghost Bikes have disappeared or been taken apart in some communities by thieves who want the parts.
Ghost Bikes are said to have started popping up in 2003, first in St. Louis, as a way to remember the lives of cyclists killed in road accidents and to encourage awareness of road sharing.