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Ghost bicycles…and beyond

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In many cities, the spot where a cyclist has been killed (usually by a car) is marked by a “ghost bicycle”: a bicycle, usually painted white, and often decorated with flowers.

Ghost bicycles serve as a reminder of the need for safer road conditions for cycling. But they may also frighten people out of taking up cycling. People may perceive that cycling is dangerous, as opposed to, say, walking or being in a car. Yet cars also kill many pedestrians (on average one a day in Dhaka alone) and being in a car is no guarantee of safety...with well over a million people dying each year around the world in car crashes, and many times more seriously injured.

What if in addition to ghost bicycles we placed some sort of symbol in all the places that a person has been killed by a motorized vehicle? That would help remind us that the danger of cars extends far beyond those on a bicycle...and could help move us more quickly to a far safer transport system.