No More Ghost Bikes, Las Vegas

My friend Pat Treichel looked exhausted this morning at the Lifetime group ride. Not because it was 5:30 a.m.; Pat typically leads the ride, so he’s used to the start time. Sitting in the bed of his truck were two white bikes, Ghost Bikes, created to honor the lives of two cyclists killed by motorists this month in Las Vegas.

So rather than leading our ride, Pat reminded us of how to keep ourselves safe and went on his way to place one of the two bikes.

May is National Bike Month, intended to raise awareness of bicycle safety. Yet, cyclists and pedestrians continue to die on Las Vegas streets despite efforts. The coverage of these fatal accidents, usually, if not always, includes: “speed was a factor.”

They are not talking about the speed of the bicycle, btw.

Last year, I helped develop three safety campaigns to make Las Vegas roadways safe. Companies contributed money so there could be billboards telling people to Change Lanes for Bikes, Ride Safe, and the idea of Let’s Get There Together.

A local artist donated time to produce two bicycle murals in #DTLV. The idea was to use art to remind people that we’re all stakeholders.

Since the Dec. 10, 2020 cycling tragedy, the Las Vegas media has run many stories about the importance of keeping cyclists and pedestrians safe.

People have rallied behind these ideas, but still, people keep dying.

There’s talk of solutions like developing separate from the road bike trails and protected bike lanes— things take time and money.

But something we can do today is to pay attention to our surroundings, drive the speed limit, change lanes for bikes, and call Uber rather than driving impaired.

Let’s give Pat and all cyclists a break. #NoMoreGhostBikes

If you are a business leader in Las Vegas, support the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition. This all-volunteer organization is doing a lot of the heavy lifting to make our roadways safe.

About

Stephanie Forté is a storyteller, connector, and problem-solver inspired by the great outdoors and energized by the transformation of people, communities, and brands. She is a longtime advocate for public lands, outdoor recreation, and women’s health.

She spotlights people and organizations creating meaningful change in her writing and award-winning PR strategies. Stephanie also mines her life for stories, and her published essays have helped others navigate challenges and to feel less alone.

Stephanie Forte