So, a comment on this blog, on March 9, said, about Meg's ghost bike at Bank and Riverside:
Hey, Anonymous (brave choice of ID, that): Cordially - wait, no, not cordially, not at all - fuck you. You have a problem with having to pass Meg's ghost bike? Does it bring you down? Oh, I'm so terribly sorry for you.
That ghost bike reminds me, every time I pass it (on my bike, or in my car), that someone's deeply beloved sister, daughter, friend, and aunt was killed at that intersection. As a sister, daughter, friend, and aunt myself, I can only hope that if the unthinkable were to happen, the least that could come of it would be that the spot where it happened might be turned into a reminder, to cyclists and drivers alike, to look out for each other. No one should have to take their lives into their hands to get home from work. Not in a car, not on a bike, not on a bus or a subway.
I'm absolutely glad Meg's memorial is still standing. I'm glad that her family and friends look after her ghost bike the way they do. If you're irritated by it, maybe you need to think about why you are. What possible reason could you come up with to be angry with people for loving and remembering someone who's gone? If you've got a real corker of a reason, let me know. Otherwise, I'm just going to assume that you're made uncomfortable by the very presence of cyclists who - God forbid - feel they should be able to get around town without running the risk of dying.
Yes, we (as a group) remember our dead. Even the ones we were never lucky enough to know personally. That's because every day, when we get on our bikes, we feel like we're under threat. We're cut off, we're honked at, we're sped past, we're yelled at, and we're startled and scared on a regular basis, even though we keep telling ourselves we know the rules and we should be okay, because we read the comments (though we shouldn't) and we feel like if we got run down by a cement truck, like Meg was, there would be a frightening number of assholes like you who would say, “Come on, take the memorial down already, it's not like they were someone important.”
Also, ghost bikes are way better at signalling a dangerous stretch of road than any municipal sign: and, sadly, they're more common. Every time I pass Meg's bike, in my mind, I'm passing Meg: I didn't know her, but I know she rode a bike, and she was a daughter and a sister and a friend and an aunt, and I promise her – and the people that love me – that I will be careful.