Alice Swanson ghost bike replaced in Dupont Circle

‘Ghost Bike’
courtesy of @victorzapanta

Today marks two years since 22-year-old cyclist Alice Swanson was struck and killed by a trash truck at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and R Street in Dupont Circle. Shortly after Swanson’s death, a memorial “ghost bike” appeared at the corner. The memorial remained in place, often adorned with flowers or notes, until last August. At the behest of the Dupont Circle Merchants and Professionals Association the memorial was removed by the city.

This morning, Swanson’s friends and family placed mementos at the site of the accident, and chalked messages on the sidewalk. This afternoon, the ghost bike memorial was replaced. Twitter user @victorzapanta sent along a photo of the new memorial.

The previous bike was removed by the Department of Public Works following a request by the Mayor’s office. The original request came from Ed Grandis of DC MAP, who characterized the well-kept memorial as an eye sore. Most street memorials in the District are left in place for 30 days before removal by DPW. These are generally memorials of photographs, flowers and/or stuffed animals. The District Department of Transportation has a policy of removing abandoned bicycles, but only after leaving a notice on the bicycle first.

In any event, a ghost bike is a solemn reminder to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians that all must share the road.  Last year the District debated constructing a memorial tree box at the location, but eventually declined to pursue that course of action. It will be interesting to see how the city reacts to the replacement of the ghost bike.

Dave has been following DC news and politics for nearly eight years and previous authored the blog “Why I Hate DC.” Dave tries to give a voice to those frustrated by the “politics as usual” in the area. By day he works in the technology department of a non-profit, by night he writes about news and politics and works at a local hardware store. Dave is also a contributor for Greater Greater Washington. You can follow him on Twitter or read his personal blog.

2 thoughts on “Alice Swanson ghost bike replaced in Dupont Circle

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Alice Swanson ghost bike replaced in Dupont Circle » We Love DC --

  2. It’s good to see them remembering every year. But the ghost bike should go, like the last ones did. It’s silly to think that a roadside memorial can persist forever. The attitude that the ghost bike should be left in perpetuity while other memorials are taken down after a specified period of time is part of the mindset that causes cyclists to think basic traffic rules (like stop signs) don’t apply to them.