Tempe Ghost Bike Re-location

Over the past year, Tempe Bicycle Action Group has worked with the City of Tempe council and staff on properly retiring the two ghost bikes that we placed in Tempe over 3 years ago. The city officials and staff at all levels went above and beyond to handle a tough situation with dignity and respect, give plenty of notice and time to work with the families, friends, and the local bike community, and also offered their time and equipment to re-locate the bikes.

The ghost bike at University and Ash has been re-located to the Bike Saviours bike co-op where it was built. Bike Saviours is working with the family of the man killed, Chris Volpe, on ideas for a more permanent memorial and continued public education.

The ghost bike at Alameda and McClintock was re-located in cooperation with the family of the man who was killed, Jay Fretz. The family has chosen to keep the bike themselves as a private memorial.

Aside from it’s purpose as a memorial, a ghost bike’s greatest impact is immediate bicycle awareness when a tragedy happens. The goal is to remind people to watch for bikes and respect their presence as traffic. As time goes on, the ghost bike can also benefit real change and create positive dialog about bike facilities and bike safety, including the possibility of signage or engineering changes in general, but also where the accidents happened.

Last year, the city of Tempe adopted it’s first policy for the management of any roadside memorials. In doing so they “acknowledge a desire to allow temporary memorials within the street right-of-way and adjacent to city owned land”. This is a positive step since roadside memorials were not allowed before. TBAG will continue to work with the city on the specifics of this policy when it concerns future ghost bikes, due to the fact that a ghost bike’s purpose is educational and awareness in addition to being a memorial.

We will never forget Chris Volpe or Jay Fretz as we continue to advocate and educate for bicycle improvements in Tempe and the region.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact ryan@biketempe.org

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East Valley Ride of Silence – Mesa – Wed 5/16

The event is the Ride of Silence in Mesa organized by Global Bikes. The ride is to mourn & honor those who’ve been injured or killed while cycling.

When: Wednesday May 16th, at 7:00PM.

Where: 845 N. Lindsay (NE corner Lindsay and Adobe) Mesa AZ 85213

RSVP on Meetup.com: http://www.meetup.com/Global-Bikes-Meetup/events/62804852/?a=socialmedia

Check out www.rideofsilence.org for information about this worldwide event.

 

 

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Installation of the two Ghost Bikes

From Eric Iwersen:

The bicycling community came together recently to honor two cyclists killed in separate, unrelated accidents in Tempe during May. Chris Volpe was killed May 10 when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike at University Drive and Ash Avenue. A week later, bicyclist Jay Fretz was struck and killed at the intersection of McClintock and Alameda drives.

Memorials for each of the cyclists included installation of a “ghost bike” – a bicycle that has been painted solid white – near each of the accident locations. A well-known practice by cycling communities internationally, the ghost bike serves as both a memorial and a reminder of the potential dangers bike riders face.

City of Tempe staff have been working together with the bicycling community for decades to make Tempe a bicycle-friendly community. Following these two accidents, members of the Tempe Bicycle Action Group and other bicycling advocates have contacted city staff and elected officials to express concern and advocate for continued efforts to increase bicycle safety.

Tempe encourages community members to participate in planning bicycle facilities and outreach efforts, and has a number of ways people can be involved, including the Transportation Commission, which is comprised of Tempe residents (several of whom are bicyclists), and the Commission’s Multi-modal Planning Committee to facilitate community dialogue and input on bicycle/pedestrian projects and issues.

Over the last 14 years – since passage of Tempe’s transit tax – the city has emphasized multi-modalism and creating a balanced transportation system with connectivity between transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Improvements include on-street bicycle lanes, multi-use paths, streetscape and traffic calming projects. Tempe now has more than 170 miles of bikeways throughout the city.

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A Second Bicyclist Fatality

We have received word of a second bicyclist fatality, and would like to request any and all help in spreading the word and gathering relevant information about the accident. This accident has not yet received any media coverage. On Monday, May 17, at roughly 6:30 pm, Jay Fretz was at the intersection of Alameda and McClintock where he was struck by an SUV driver who did not see him. He was pronounced DOA at the hospital. He is survived by his wife and five-year-old daughter.

Update: We sent out a press release and got some media coverage for both incidents including an article on azcentral and ABC 15. The family along with TBAG and Bike Saviours are installing a ghost bike in memory of Jay this weekend. Meet at Bike Saviours at 10am on Saturday May 29th. We’ll ride to to the site of the accident at Alameda and McClintock. Here are a few shots of the ghost bike preparations:

Ghost 1
Ghost 2
Ghost 3

Click here for more photos of the ghost bike by Ryan Guzy

We will update this post again after the memorial.

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Tempe’s First Ghost Bike Installed

On Monday, May 10, 2010, a bicyclist named Chris Volpe was struck by a motorist at the intersection of University and Ash, and was killed. In the face of this tragic event, members of the Tempe bicycling community gathered together with members of Chris’s family to prepare and install a ghost bike at the intersection. As described on their website, ghosbikes.org, ghost bikes are intended to be small, somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street.

Photograph courtesy of Patrick Leahy at http://patrickleahy.smugmug.com/

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Phoenix hit-and-run driver foiled by Cash for Clunkers!

The driver involved in the hit-and-run accident which killed 52 year old cyclist Charles Waldrop has been apprehended. The suspect, 23 year old Timothy M. Kissida, traded in his 1992 BMW under the Cash for Clunkers program and blamed the damage on having hit a javelina. An anonymous tip was received by Phoenix Police from someone that heard the vehicle description via an unspecified media report. Full story on KTAR.com.

Thanks to the anonymous tipster!

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Phoenix bicyclist dead after hit-and-run collision, driver at large.

Please be on the lookout for a silver BMW 4 door sedan with dark tinted windows having significant damage to the passenger front end including a missing marker & fog light and possibly a cracked windshield. A bicyclist was hit by the motorist of said vehicle who swerved into the bike lane on Cave Creek Road and Mountain Gate Pass at a high rate of speed striking the bicyclist and killing him instantly. The motorist made no effort to stop. The license plate is an Arizona plate but no numbers were obtained by witnesses. To read the report on ABC15 or to report information on the collision click here. Our condolences to family and friends of the victim.

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