In the wake of a string of fatal cyclist collisions, the advocacy group responsible for setting up memorials to fallen cyclists is running short on bikes.
After Saturday marked the third cyclist fatality in two weeks, the advocacy group behind the white “ghost bike” memorials—set up across the city to commemorate fallen cyclists—is facing an unprecedented challenge: they’re running out of bikes to memorialize victims.
“Three cyclists in two weeks is quite unusual,” says Geoffrey Bercarich of Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists, a local group that has coordinated memorials to fallen cyclists for over a decade. While Bercarich recalls when, a couple of years ago, two cyclists were killed in one day, the recent uptick in car-cyclist collisions troubles him.
“I have never seen anything like this,” he says.
To address the bike shortage, Bercarich has put out a public call on his Facebook page for donations of unusable bikes to convert into memorials for the cyclists Zhi Yong Kang, at Finch Avenue and Tobermory Drive, and an unnamed 26-year-old male by Avenue and Davenport roads. The two men were struck and killed, respectively, on Thursday and Saturday of last week.
Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West), the chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, told CityNews yesterday that early discussions were under way at city hall to establish a citywide grid of protected bike lanes. A provincial amendment to the Highway Traffic Act, increasing fines and demerit points for distracted driving, will become law this fall.
Meanwhile, those interested in donating bicycles or funds for the installation of memorial shrines are encouraged to contact Bercarich directly at his Facebook page.