An anonymous reader asks:
What is your take on the subject of flowers/t-shirts/candles/photos being left at the site of a traffic accident? I’m all for the ‘ghost bikes’ as they make a very pertinent point about public safety on the highways and of course, everyone needs to grieve, but after more than two years on I can’t help feeling tributes would be better suited to a more appropriate memorial venue. I know it’s a highly sensitive subject matter – and I certainly wouldn’t want to offend family & friends, but when does a public highway cease being such and instead become a personal memorial?
Hmm – an interesting question and one that I honestly don’t know my feelings on. I, too, would like to know what people’s opinion is on this most sad of subjects. It’s a painful time for the people who have been directly – or indirectly – affected by the death of cyclists on London’s and, more locally, Greenwich’s roads – and we do have the depressing ‘honour’ of several such memorials.
How long do you think they should stay, though? If they are being constantly refreshed and are clearly being cared for, does that make a difference?
I can’t help feeling that the fact that there hasn’t been a new ghost bike for a while (thank heavens) could be partially due to the ‘reminders’ we have at dangerous junctions (after all, no real change has been made to safety provision in that time at those places). But is there a point when the streets should be refreshed and mourning become a more private affair?