Ghost bikes. Painted white, adorned with plastic flowers and teddy bears. Chained in situ where people who ride bikes come to a fatal end. A sobering reminder to others to drive carefully.
Ghost pedestrians. Cut out 2-D manikins shaped like the walking figure on crosswalk signals. Reminders of the risk people who walk face everyday in a transportation environment skewed to favour people who drive cars. Another sobering reminder of how close death stalks everybody who dares walk in the motor-age.
These memorials upset some people. Clutter, some say. Hazards, say some. Creepy, opine others. Valuable reminders, chorus some. Hide them away somewhere, politicians suggest.
I noticed these signs in another place. I kinda liked them. They are more subtle than ghost bikes. They include names, which makes the associated deaths more real. They do not specify the mode of death. The standard post still permits personalization by grieving families and friends. The signs are aligned where stopped motorists can see them and contemplate on mortality.
I wonder if that florescent sign about right turns appeared before or after these deaths. The illuminated sign on the traffic signal prhobits right turns on red (note the crossride a bit to the right on the crossing road). When the traffic light goes green, the message on the overhead sign changes to tell people who drive to watch out for people who walk or bike.
I’d like to have seen a date and vehicle of death mentioned. But that’s quibbling.
Should we have signs like these in Ottawa?