AUSTIN (KXAN) — A group advocating for cyclists around Austin was forced to replace the first tribute they ever erected.
Please Be Kind to Cyclists, a local non-profit, has put up ghost bikes over the last eight years to honor victims of crashes involving cyclists. The original bike at 360 and Bee Caves Road, put there in honor of Gay Simmons, was removed Saturday.
“Coming here to where I lost my sister, yeah, it’s difficult,” said Scott Simmons, Gay’s brother. “Gay’s has been here about eight years now. It’s something that we have to work with TXDOT on so we can give true memorials to the individuals who lose their life.”
TxDOT said they are working with the group to replace some ghost bikes with other types of memorials so they follow the law.
“We are in the process of bringing the memorials located within state right-of-way into conformance with the regulations that we are required to follow,” TxDOT said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as much as we empathize with the legitimate need to grieve and memorialize loved ones, the ghost bikes set a precedent which makes it difficult to enforce safety by preventing unnecessary objects along the roads.”
Please Be Kind to Cyclists officials said they began placing ghost bikes as a grass roots campaign to increase harmony between drivers and cyclists.