Update on ghost bike removal

Yesterday I wrote about the city's removal of the ghost bike memorial at Connecticut and R Streets, NW. The ghost bike was a memorial to Alice Swanson, the cyclist killed by a trash truck last year.

I've spent the last day attempting to get confirmation about who ordered the removal of the bicycle. I've also been investigating which businesses in Dupont may have requested the removal. So far I've turned up a whole lot of nothing. Either no one in the DC Government "officially" knows who removed it, or no one wants to tell me. Eventually they will have to, however, as it is a matter of public record.

What I've got: Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) does not have any information about the removal. DDOT Director Gabe Klein states his agency knew nothing about it. Acting Parks and Recreation Director Ximena Hartsock also chimed in saying her agency had nothing to do with the removal. In some ways, we already knew this, the Washington Area Bicycle Association says the Department of Public Works removed the memorial. Requests for comment from DPW have so far been ignored.

Robin Diener, president of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association was unaware of any complaints about the memorial.

Greater Greater Washington had an excellent post yesterday about the ghost bike. Their piece also provides some information about how MPD refuses to release the complete accident report. I have not seen the report, but it sounds as though MPD places fault on Swanson for riding her bicycle too fast.

I'm not going to give up on this story, and I'll continue to dig up as much detail as I can. Regardless of the "legality" of having a perpetual memorial on public property, the removal was handled very poorly. I will get to the bottom of who removed it, and how that process unfolded.

1 comment:

  1. My guess? Some misguided trash guy figures, "this bike's been here forever, it's clearly abandoned" and pitches it (I guess this depends on how securely it was locked up). Realizing the error of his ways, he's covering it up and blaming it on others (i.e. "someone complained").

    But maybe I'm not paranoid enough.