Ghost Bikes, bicycles painted all-white and placed at the site where a person riding a bike has been killed, are small and sombre memorials for people killed by automobiles. The installations are meant as reminders of the tragedy that took place, and as quiet statements in support of the right of all people to safe travel.
Ghost Bikes do not lay blame or place fault. All road users need to pay attention to each other and share the road safely, and streets must be designed to allow everyone to travel in safety, including pedestrians and people on bikes.
For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow cyclist hits home. We all travel the same streets and face the same risks, and realize it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again—but we remain committed to installing these memorials as long as they are needed.
Bike Edmonton created and installed three Ghost Bikes in 2007, starting in September when two city cyclists were killed within days of each other. A third Ghost Bike was installed following a fatal accident in early December 2007.
The city’s first Ghost Bike was placed on Stony Plain Road just west of Anthony Henday Drive to remember William Korol, 38, of Stony Plain, who died after being killed in a hit-and-run in the early morning of Saturday, September 15, 2007.
A second Ghost Bike was placed three days later at 71st Street and 34th Avenue in Millwoods after 16-year-old Mathew Bensalah was killed cycling near his home at 9:30 pm on Monday, September 18, 2007.
The city’s third Ghost Bike memorial was placed at Princess Elizabeth Avenue near 102 Street after 55-year-old Adly Baskharoun was struck and killed just before 7:00 am on Saturday, December 8, 2007.
On September 6, 2008 two more Ghost Bikes were erected in Edmonton. Edmonton’s fourth Ghost Bike was installed to remember Sandor Baracskay, 77, who died on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 after sustaining injuries after he was struck by a car on August 29 near 111 Avenue and Groat Road.
Another Ghost Bike was installed at 110 Avenue and 153 Street after a September 5, 2008 collision where two cyclists were struck by a truck. William Boudreau, 43, died at the scene while the other cyclist suffered minor injuries.
On October 5, 2008, a 15 year old boy was killed by a drunk driver on Dawson Bridge. A Ghost Bike was set up and remained, with the appreciation of family members.
A Ghost Bike was placed at 156 St and Stony Plain Road after Ronnie Smith, 60, was struck on July 24, 2009, and died.
On August 4, 2009, Dave Dupe, 35, was cycling along the Yellowhead Trail near 215 St when he was struck. A Ghost Bike was placed near the location.
On April 20, 2010, Roman Cutillas, 49, a temporary foreign worker who rode a bike so he could send more money home to his family, was hit by a truck and killed near 126 St and 111 Ave. A Ghost Bike was placed.
Jeremy Half, 29, was killed on November 12, 2010, while crossing 137 Ave at 131 St with a friend in a marked crosswalk. A Ghost Bike was placedat this location.
On May 15, 2011, a 15-year-old cyclist was struck at 144 Ave and 54 St. He died in hospital on May 16.
Isaak Kornelsen was killed on Whyte Ave near 102 St on August 27, 2012, after falling under the wheels of a passing cement truck. He was 21.
On May 3, 2013, a 56-year-old man was hit by a pickup truck making a left turn from 107 Ave onto 127 St. He died on May 5.
On May 22, 2014, Wendee Hockney, 50, was struck by a garbage truck as it made a right turn from 100 Ave onto 112 St. She died at the scene.
On February 23, 2015, Christopher Beaulieu, 21, was struck from behind as he was cycling south of Edmonton. An experienced cyclist who always rode with bike lights, Christopher had left work in south Edmonton and was riding his fatbike on a 30-40km training ride for an upcoming summer tour. The temperature was about 7 degrees Celsius and conditions were clear. A Ghost Bike was placed on March 6.
On May 20, 2016, a cyclist was struck at 6:30pm by a car as he was crossing Highway 14, just east of the Anthony Henday. He died at the scene.
On November 5, 2017, a 38-year-old man was hit by a vehicle at 96 St and 111 Avenue. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene, and the man died in hospital a short time later.
We try to place Ghost Bikes nearest the scene of collisions, providing a visual cue for approaching motorists, asking them to slow down. We place Ghost Bikes to avoid blocking sight lines or sidewalks, but if you notice issues with a Ghost Bike, please feel free to contact us.
The first Ghost Bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003, and they have since appeared in at least 30 cities throughout the world. More information on Ghost Bikes around the world is available at ghostbikes.org.
The full list of Edmonton Ghost Bikes can be found here.