Walking home yesterday evening (rumbled – bikes aren’t my sole form of transport!) I passed the aftermath of a car crash.
A taxi was being lifted by crane off the largely destroyed concrete central partitio. The driver was crouched on the pavement [sidewalk], watching in wide-eyed silence the crane, the taxi and the tailbacks.
This got me to thinking about crashes in general. Why is it that bicycle crashes are often memorialised with a ghost bike which lasts for years after the event, whereas car crashes tend to spawn bouquets of flowers that disappear within a few weeks?
The first time I saw a photo of a ghost bike (I readily admit Yehuda Moon first introduced the concept to me), I was struck with a sense of… well, fear. It hammered home the fact that people can and do die while riding a bike. I love ghost bikes aesthetically, but they give me the willies. Seeing one in my town would probably go some way to persuading me take the bus more often.
How about hammering home the simple truth that people die in cars too? With ghost cars. Leaving a real stripped-down car at the roadside, painted white, where someone died in a car. Or in areas where space is at a premium, one side of the car. Would seeing one go some way to persuading people to drive more carefully or less often?