Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 24

In Lincoln apparently even placing a ghost bike is too much for the locals.


From the globe:

More than anything, Erik Limpaecher was surprised.

The Concord resident late Sunday night erected a “ghost bike” along a busy road in the neighboring town of Lincoln, near where a cyclist was killed in a crash on Aug. 17. By Monday morning, the memorial, a stripped-down bike painted a glaring white and adorned with a sign bearing the victim’s name, had vanished.

“I didn’t expect it to be taken down within hours,” said Limpaecher. “It was really disappointing.”

Limpaecher said he spoke to a police officer parked near where the ghost bike had been chained to a stop sign on Virginia Road. The officer told Limpaecher that the bike had been removed by the town, and would need to be placed on private property if he wanted it to stay up.

“The police officer was deferential, and said he appreciated the sentiment, but said some people don’t appreciate having such a stark reminder of a tragedy like that,” said Limpaecher. “I assume they [took it down] because of some interpretation of the town’s laws. But I would hope that they would have empathy for the family of the cyclist, and for the cycling community.”

Insensitive, and problematic. Particularly this little gem:

Higgins said the stop sign chosen as the location is at the corner of a “heavily traveled intersection, where the roadways meet at a sharp angle.”

“A more inappropriate location could not have been chosen,” he said, because it can be distracting to drivers.

Oh you mean like get them to slow down because apparently people are dying in this area while riding their bicycles?

Boston used to do this sort of thing in the bad old days, and it solved nothing and only made the problem worse.

I can’t imagine a worse way to handle this sort of thing, city of Lincoln, get your shit together. Maybe Lincoln can call up the Boston city hall and ask them how to get their heads out of their asses.

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Posted in news | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed”

  1. By Radey Shouman on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    Why are you ragging on Concord? The crash (and the ghost bike incident) happened in Lincoln.

  2. By Boston Biker on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    @Radey, sheesh, embarrassing lapse in reading skills. Thanks for pointing out how foolish I was, article edited. Sentiment still stands, but at least directed correctly.

  3. By DKB on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    I’m no fan of memorials like these. I suspect the “ghost bikes” even annoy non-cyclists merely because of the self-righteous us v them division they seem to imply. (I have a memorial rock near my house that commemorates a fatal car crash over 10 years ago. The friends of the victim repaint it from time to time.)

    I’m a little baffled by this crash, though. Apparently, Himelfarb was making a left turn from Virginia Rd onto Old Bedford Rd (his only choice) after climbing the hill from the airfield. He could not have been going fast at all. The car that hit him had a stop sign and must have been turning right (his only choice). There is decent visibility there and it was about noon. Had Himelfarb drifted to the left to shorten his turn? Was the driver watching at all? Was the driver impaired somehow (phone, drunk)? I doubt anyone actually stops at that intersection (bike or car) since there is, in theory, no conflict or right of way question between the two directions. I hope we learn some details, though usually we don’t.

  4. By Radey Shouman on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    I used to work in an office building very close to the crash site, and rode Virginia Rd to get there.

    The stop sign is odd, and almost universally ignored. I suspect that it was installed in response to some other crash or crashes, but don’t know.

    Visibility around the corner is not that good — it’s difficult to see approaching traffic. Many drivers take the corner too fast.

    I agree that Himmelfarb was unlikely to have been going fast, unless he was a much stronger climber than I am.

  5. By DKB on Aug 27, 2016 | Reply

    I checked out the site on a ride this morning. I could find no obviously recent or major skid marks near the corner and no other evidence of anything happening there. Visibility is really not that bad. Look at the intersection on Google Earth Street View. I don’t see how a collision could have occurred if either operator had been paying attention (just ONE of them!). Perhaps we’ll find out.

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