From a recent post on Tree Hugger:
As much as we love bikes and biking, these are the pictures of them we never want to see. The sad photos in this post show a ghost bike
homage and demonstration in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, over the
running-down of 40 year-old prominent bike-activist Marcia Prado. The
accident heated the long claim of the city's bikers for more space and
respect in the streets.
Did you know that every four days, a biker is killed in Sao Paulo?
Márcia Regina de Andrade Prado was a well-known bike activist who
was run-down by a bus last January 14. Her accident exposed one more
time the fragile situation of bikers in large cities and caused great
mobilization among the Sao Paulo's bikers.
A group of them held a demonstration last January 15, in which they
placed a ghost bike as a memorial on the Avenida Paulista (the main
artery of the city). They also published an open letter called Manifest of the Invisibles, with sound words about the disrespect they go through every day in the city.
"Driver, what would you do if people said you could only drive in
some special street, because your car doesn’t have an airbag? And that,
where these paths don’t exist, you could not transit?," the text
begins. "We are not claiming for bike paths, we are claiming for
respect. For the traffic laws, for life," they say.
Even though this particular accident is recent, the issue is not
new. According to records from Sao Paulo's Mayor Office, every four
days a cyclist is killed in the city (Nosso Quintal).
This is based in statistics from 2006 and the first semester of 2007,
when 84 and 47 seven people were killed, respectively. The accidents
have raised 62.7% in the period of 2004-2007 (ISTOE).
It's not so hard to believe the accidents considering Sao Paulo only
holds 29.5 kilometers of bike paths for 250 thousand bikers, nothing
compared to the situation in cities like Bogota or New York, which have
300 and 675 kilometers of paths, respectively (ISTOE).
During the November 2007 Critical Mass bicycle activists in São Paulo installed their first ghost bike at the spot that an unnamed rider was killed by a bus in August 2006. This was one of many actions intended to call attention to the dangerous cycling conditions in São Paulo.
These included mapping the 84 fatal cyclist crashes in 2006 in and around São Paulo, stenciling and other street art. See the photos here. As a result one elected official pledged to create 50km more bike lanes in the city. As reported in this article
For more information (in Portuguese) about these actions see: