Edmonton

Ghost bike to be installed in memory of cyclist killed in weekend hit and run

A ghost bike will be installed Monday afternoon at the central Edmonton intersection where a cyclist was killed this weekend in a hit and run.

'They're set up to remind everyone that we all share this space together'

The collision happened in the intersection of 111th Avenue and 96th Street, police said. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

A ghost bike will be installed Monday afternoon at the central Edmonton intersection where a cyclist was killed this weekend in a hit and run.

Edmonton Bicycle Commuters will place the white bicycle at the intersection of 96th Street and 111th Avenue. A 38-year-old man died in hospital Sunday after being hit in the intersection early that morning by a dark-coloured vehicle, Edmonton police said.

The man has not been identified, and police are still searching for the driver of the vehicle.

This is the 17th ghost bike EBC has installed since 2007. The last one was installed in 2014, when Wendee Hockney, 50, was struck and killed by a garbage truck while riding her bike on 100th Avenue and 112th Street. 

"We set up ghost bikes as memorials and reminders wherever there's been a collision between a person riding a bike and an automobile that has resulted in the person dying," said EBC executive director Christopher Chan.

"They're set up to remind everyone that we all share this space together and we need to watch out for each other."

Sunday's fatal collision occurred just a few blocks from EBC's bike shop. Chan said his "heart sank" when he heard what happened.

It's an intersection he rides through often, and Chan said it's not uncommon for staff or volunteers to do the same, often after working a late night at the shop. Chan said 96th Street is a quiet road and a designated bike route. It turns into part of the downtown bike grid as it stretches south.

Going in the other direction, 111th and 112th Avenue, also known as Norwood Blvd., is not a high-traffic route but it's used often by bike commuters, Chan said. It's an area he says could be improved particularly for cyclists and pedestrians. The city is currently studying this area to potentially create new design policies to improve safety and transportation for pedestrians and cyclists.

'Edmonton still has a long way to go'

Edmonton's streets have been getting better for cyclists in recent years, Chan said, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.

"Especially as you get farther out from downtown, there's not a lot necessarily out there for people to get around safely if they're not driving a car," Chan said.

"Edmonton still has a long way to go to really be a safe place, for not just cyclists but pedestrians, too. In large part it's quite safe getting around by bike ... but you still deal with a lot of aggression on the road from drivers and sometimes just that inattention from drivers can be quite frightening if you're a vulnerable road user."

Chan said his thoughts will be with the family and friends of the victim in the city's latest road fatality. 

"I'm also really hopeful that the person who's responsible for this will wake up today and realize what they've been involved in and turn themselves in to police."

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