Pittsburgh was the second city (after St. Louis) to see ghost bike memorials, starting in May 2004. Ghost bikes installed here recognize crashes that caused injuries as well as those that resulted in deaths.
Ghost Bikes Memorialize Bicyclists Struck by Motor Vehicles
Ghost bikes, bright white bicycles with placards declaring “cyclist struck here,” are appearing around Pittsburgh as roadside memorials to cyclists struck by motor vehicles.
The people behind this project call themselves Ghost Bike Pittsburgh. GBP is a group of concerned bicycle commuters who have seen lives destroyed by the lack of concern by city government and automobile drivers in general. They see Pittsburgh as a city with an uninviting transportation infrastructure, a government reluctant to accommodate their needs, and a set of laws that leans toward the rights of motorists and ignores unprotected bicyclists.
Jim Rihn was tragically struck and killed on June 28, 2002 along Allegheny River Boulevard by a woman who was distracted by the temperature controls in her car. The woman at fault was not given a citation. Mr. Rihn left behind a wife and family who have since run into numerous bureaucratic difficulties having a memorial installed.
Bicycling remains a viable form of transportation that can reduce roadway congestion, air pollution, noise, parking needs, energy use, and above all, to provide more daily physical exercise for everyone.
Pittsburgh, ranked fifth from the worst among American cities for the amount of airborne solids (which come from fossil fuel emissions such as car and diesel exhausts) by the American Lung Association, can benefit from embracing cycling as a viable and sustainable form of transportation.
Ghost Bike Pittsburgh’s goal in installing the ghost bikes is to help Pittsburgh become a city where cyclists and motorists can coexist, to the benefit of both groups.
Do you have more information about ghost bikes in Pittsburgh? Are you a Ghost Bike Pittsburgh volunteer who would like to update or maintain this page? Please contact us.