'Ghost Bike' memorial honours Calgary cyclist killed in crash
A ghost bike memorial in northeast Calgary is honouring the life 51-year-old Mike Maggipinto, killed last month while cycling home from work.
"I want people to stop and think about how safe this city really is for cycling," said Adrienne Tollas, who helped organize the memorial. "And to maybe think more than just a random person [cycling] on the side of the street. I want them to maybe think that could be my son, my daughter, my niece, my mom, someone that’s actually close to them."
The memorial, at 53 Avenue and 11 Street N.E,. is a bicycle which is painted completely white. Ghost bikes are a new concept to Calgary but are already in many other cities across the country.
On Sunday, a ghost ride was organized by Calgary Ghost Bike & Walk. The ride began in Victoria Park and ended near the crash site.
Maggipinto’s wife, son, daughter and other family members were in attendance as the bike was locked in place.
On July 26, 2019, Maggipinto died after he was pinned under a delivery truck on his way home from work.
His wife said her husband was in the crosswalk at the time of the crash. Police have not yet released details of what happened.
"It’s easy to not put a face to any sort of bike memorial on the side of the road. I kind of want people to know there was a person here with a whole life that suddenly ended because our streets aren’t safe enough," said Tollas.
"We need separated infrastructure, separate bike paths, a lot of these neighbourhoods there’s not even sidewalks available for pedestrians so even completing that would make us very happy,” said Solita Work, who also helped organize the memorial.
Work said the group will ride for other victims, but hopes that doesn’t happen.
"Of course we don’t want to hold rides like this but we feel like it’s very important to draw attention to the fact we need safer streets. So we’ll continue to do it until we have safer infrastructure and these kinds of accidents and tragedies don’t happen anymore."