A ghost bike appeared in Bay Ridge on May 21—but it looks like it was locked up in the wrong spot!
“Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street,” according to the website. “A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.” They have appeared all over the city and all over the country.
The men who placed this one posted on Facebook that it was for Rigoberto Diaz. But Diaz was killed last year on Third Avenue and Forty-eighth Street, in Sunset Park, not Seventy-eighth Street, in Bay Ridge, where the bike was placed.
The crash happened Wednesday [August 5, 2015] at around 5:30 p.m. Rigoberto Diaz, 72, was traveling westbound against traffic on 48th Street and attempting to turn left onto Third Avenue when a driver traveling northbound on Third hit him with a Chevrolet SUV, according to NYPD and Patch.
Diaz died at Lutheran Hospital. NYPD and District Attorney Ken Thompson filed no charges against the driver, whose name was not released. A police spokesperson told us the investigation was still open as of this afternoon….
Third Avenue through Sunset Park is a service road beneath the Gowanus Expressway. According to city data dozens of people have been injured this year alone in crashes along the stretch where Diaz was killed. Many of the injured were motor vehicle occupants, indicating collisions at high speeds.
I reached out to the men who claimed responsibility for the ghost bike, one of whom responded that he would forward the information to the organization.
This was the third ghost bike placed in Bay Ridge in the last decade. One at Sixth Avenue and 65th Street commemorates Shui Yung Jaing, a 68-year-old hit by a tow truck in 2013, which sped away. Another was placed on the bike path for Keith Alexander, a 41-year-old who swerved in 2005 to avoid hitting another bicyclist, riding erratically, and died. That ghost bike was removed by the parks department.
Find out more about Ghost Bikes in New York City here.