Joshua David Stein has written an article titled Ghost Riders about the Ghost Bike Project for New York Magazine. Really beautiful photographs by Christopher Griffith accompany the article.
I disagree with Stien’s opening statement
As cycling in New York has become more popular, it has become increasingly deadly.
I don’t believe that the threat of automobiles were ever benign, they are always deadly. The manner in which NYC is utillized and designed for automobiles plays a role in how deadly they are to humans. Pedestrians are also at risk, Transportation Alternatives states that “NY has the highest number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the U.S.”, and over 170 pedestrians were killed in 2003 in NYC. Should the same statement be said for the popularity of walking? If so then I’d logically assume the issue is with automobiles and the manner in which people drive them. NYC has evolved from a city designed for walking, and small animal drawn carriages, to a complex system of roads intended mainly for the movement of freight, human’s second to that. That is the essence of the problem.
I will continue to ride my bicycle in NYC and everywhere else, and do so with the understanding that I am mortal. It is a pleasure and a necessity for me. And I hope that we, as creatures with incredible ingenuity, can create a safer environment for all pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, preferably in that order.
The Ghost Bike Project is not intended to frighten those that ride or wish to, its making visible the cost of a city dominated by car culture.
Copies with the article can be found at newsstands now.
Automobiles are the tools used in all these fatalities. A bicycle or the choice of walking somewhere aren’t what’s killing people. We need better designed urban areas, routes with little to no auto traffic. Some think that reducing the amount and types of guns that people have access to will reduce the amount of deaths as a result of them, what if that was applied to automobiles.