Ottawa

Ghost bikes should have 3-month limit, city report recommends

Spontaneous roadside memorials, such as ghost bikes, should have a three-month limit, a City of Ottawa report posted online Wednesday afternoon recommends.

Transportation Committee to discuss recommendation on November 4

A ghost bike was put up in October 2013 near the intersection of West Hunt Club Road and Merivale Road where a cyclist died. (CBC)

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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now