So let's recap. After 15 months, DPW decided to remove the Alice Swanson ghost bike without contacting WABA or the Swanson family. This is in keeping with their secret policy to remove such memorials after 30 days (maybe DPW only has 30 working days in 15 months). Then a local artist put up 22 ghost bikes as a protest and DPW stated that they would remove them after 30 days - as is their now public policy. Then DDOT came out and put "Abandoned bike" notices on them stating that they would be removed in 10 days if not moved or claimed. But one day later, and 17 days after they were originally put up, DDOT removed them. Does no one in the DC government know how to count days?
And the artist, Legba Carrefour, called and claimed the bikes as not abandoned.
When the abandoned bike notices went up, I thought the ideal path forward would be for Carrefour to round up all the bikes but "Alice's" after a week and remove them. Then, sometime in mid-October, for a nice ceremony to be held to remove Alice's bike (and perhaps a smaller memorial placed there or painted on something nearby). Finally, for WABA and DDOT/DPW to come up with a MOU on how to deal with ghost bikes in the future. But now, I'm not sure a DDOT/DPW policy is worth the laminated card it's typed on. What a world-class cluster-f this has been. I can respect making new mistakes, but they made the same mistakes again.
Wait they did make a new mistake. They played fast and loose with the truth.
"Somebody had piled them up at two locations on the sidewalk and they were a pedestrian hazard," she said.
Yes, but then they were put back to where they had been, so they weren't a hazard anymore.
Carrefour, who's recovering from injuries he suffered after being doored, promises to replace the ghost bike. Third chance DC.
Update: Almost as newsworthy is that the motorist who doored Carrefour reportedly got a ticket. If accurate, it'd be the first time I've heard of such a thing.
"Irony of ironies, I was struck by a driver in Adams Morgan while cycling and I'm laid up at the moment," Carrefour told DCist via email on Friday.
Carrefour said the driver who hit him was ticketed, and he expects to make a full recovery.
Photo by Pedal Power Pete