St. Louis bicyclist featured for role in starting Ghost Bike movement

St. Louis bicyclist Patrick van der Tuin is featured in a recent Bicycling Magazine article about Ghost Bikes:
The first "ghost bike" to mark a car-bike crash was installed in St. Louis in 2002 by Patrick Van Der Tuin, who helps run a shop that caters to low-income cyclists, and witnessed an SUV hit a cyclist in a bike lane. "I didn't say anything to anyone when I did it, but it got people talking," he says. Van Der Tuin's idea has spread to cities nationwide, and even internationally, but remains semi-underground, organized by a loose collaboration of cycling advocates and concerned riders in their respective cities. The bikes typically have plaques affixed to them which contain different messages depending on who puts them up; in St. Louis and Seattle, for instance, ghost bikes mark the location of any car-bike accident, not merely fatal ones. Michael Jones, who helped put up the first ghost bikes in Portland, Oregon, says that a website linking ghost bike projects is in the works but sustaining interest from volunteers is difficult.

Another problem: Laws against littering and erecting roadside memorials mean that most bikes last for only a few weeks. But there are exceptions. In New York City, where ghost bikes are largely the work of volunteers from the environmental organization TIME'S UP! (, and art-activism group Visual Resistance (, a ghost bike for Andre Anderson, a 14-year-old hit from behind two years ago by an SUV, still stands in Far Rockaway, Queens. One of the very first, for 21-year-old Brandie Bailey, who was killed in 2005 on her way home from work, is still maintained at Houston Street and Avenue A in Manhattan. "We're not yelling for bike lanes," says Rachael Myers, a member of TIME'S UP!. "What we're looking for is a little more intangible. We're hoping that the culture changes."
More about Ghost Bikes on Wikipedia.

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