Ghost bikes should have 3-month limit, city report recommends
Transportation Committee to discuss recommendation on November 4
Spontaneous roadside memorials, such as ghost bikes, should have a three-month limit, a City of Ottawa report posted online Wednesday afternoon recommends.
The report comes after concerns that roadside memorials can be visual distractions to motorists, as well as obstructions to pedestrians and motorists, alike, the report said.
"Respecting that there is a desire to grieve and memorialize a loss, while acknowledging it may not be appropriate for memorials to become permanent encroachments," city staff was asked by Transportation Committee to review the policies of other municipalities, the report said.
The report found that while 13 of the 20 Canadian cities reviewed had no specific policies surrounding spontaneous roadside memorials, some did set limits, including:
- Mississauga, Ont.: one year, with the possibility of an extension.
- Winnipeg, Man.: one year.
- Prince Albert, Sask.,: three months
- Calgary, Alta.,: one year.
- Kelowna, B.C.,: two years.
The report also detailed that while spontaneous memorials technically violate City of Ottawa bylaws, they have only been removed where there is "an immediate safety concern" due to the sensitivity surrounding the memorials.
The report, submitted by John Moser, acting deputy city manager of planning and infrastructure, is expected to be discussed at the next Transportation Committee meeting on Nov. 4.
If the recommendations in the report are approved by the committee, it would go to city council for a vote.