Christophe Le Canne Ghost Bike Removed!

Update: 2/9 The Department of Public Works claims to have the "ghost bike" in storage. It was removed because the makeshift memorial was a liability on the Bear Cut Bridge. I was told they removed it with care and attempted to contact the family beforehand. More details and an official statement from PWD to come.

The Christophe Le Canne memorial was removed from the Bear Cut Bridge today. I'm almost certain the Department of Public Works is responsible for this.

Email Esther Calas, Director of the County Public Works and request to know why the ghost bike was removed. You should also contact James Martincak, PWD Superintendent of the Causeway Division, call (305) 361-2833.

I want to know why no one from the cycling community was asked whether this would be a good idea or not, I guess they'll find out soon enough. The ghost bike was up for just 15 days. It was carefully placed there and maintained, it was not abandoned and did not obstruct the path of cyclists, walkers, runners, etc.

If anyone has any information on where the bike is please contact me. The wreath is also gone hence this was a clearance job and not larceny. Here's a photo of the memorial yesterday afternoon.

Photo taken February 7th, 2010

Photo taken January 24th, 2010



  1. And the same day that animal pleaded not guilty...

  2. I have a feeling they received "complaints" or phone calls from friends of the accused.

  3. it must of been complaints from key biscayne residents.

  4. I've emailed Calas. I will let you all know once I get a reply, if I get one.


  5. I suggest copying your commissioner as well. Here's how to find who's in charge of your area:

  6. Why does this not surprise me? Considering the degree of anti-bike mentality inherent in generation XL society, this is was expected behavior. "Why is there a bicycle chained to the railing? Someone call the city and complain to have it removed NOW!".... typical.

  7. Yet another crystal-clear signal from the City of Key Biscayne that they could not care less about us.

  8. My email to City0

    Dear Ms. Calas-

    I am writing to inquire with regards to the removal of the memorial bicycle placed on Bear Cut Bridge on Key Biscayne.

    As you are certainly aware, on January 17th, 2010, cyclist Christophe LeCanne was killed in precisely the spot where the memorial bicycle was placed. I rode by that very bicycle on Sunday afternoon. As of Monday morning, it had been removed. I should also point out that the bicycle was removed on precisely the same day as the preliminary hearing of the accused, Carlos Bertonatti. The timing of the removal was in poor taste. Surely after two weeks of it remaining in place, one more day could have done no more harm. Its removal on the morning of the hearing sends an unfortunate signal from the City to cycling enthusiasts.

    Would you be able to tell me if anyone from the cycling community was consulted before the removal of the bicycle? Where and how was it disposed? Can it be recovered and moved to a more acceptable location?

    I am also curious as to the procedures for the removal itself. Were one to lock a bicycle to, say, a bike rack in Key Biscayne, how long would it be before the City removed it? Would the City place some type of notification on it, indicating that the City considered it abandoned? If it were to be removed, how might the owner go about recovering it? And lastly, if such procedures and policies do indeed exist, why were they not followed in this instance?

    I have lived in Miami for four years and I ride my bicycle to and from school, work, and on other errands. I ride to Key Biscayne several days a week for exercise. It is one of the most scenic views for riding in Florida. In my experience, however, the relationships between cyclists, governmental actors, and motorists in this city are among the worst in the country. The memorial on Bear Cat Bridge was intended to be a lasting reminder of the tragedy. I was sorry to see it so abruptly removed.

    Thank you for any answers you can provide to these inquiries.


    Michael Marshall

  9. Florida has a policy not allowing road side memorials seeing as they can pose as a distraction to drivers and make road maintenance more complicated . On a bridge the issue of maintenance and distraction are only multiplied due to the proximity of the memorial to the roadway. Usually Florida replaces the memorial with a " Drive carefully" sign. I'm not commenting on whether or not the ghost bike removal was right or wrong, just the insight into why it's gone.

  10. Well, if that's the rationale then that is just plain pretextual bull crap. How is that one particular piece of art any more or less distracting than any other piece of artwork, building, or lamp post?

    I was thinking about this a bit more today and my guess is that the police have caught on to the fact that organized rides stop and people accumulate there, like the amazing solidarity ride on Sunday. A cop car followed us to the site and then stopped behind us by about 100m, forcing traffic out of the lane. Realizing that this forces a shut down of the right lane, they probably took it down so no one has a reason to stop there any more. Weak sauce.

  11. I'm not at all surprised it went down. As Max said, Florida policy is not to leave up these kind of roadside memorials. This is standard procedure, and I'd like to point out that it's not just the City doing this to piss off cyclists. Please, we can't make things any better if we also continue the "us vs. them" mentality.

    On a side note, I do wonder: did a ghost bike go up for Rodolfo Rojo? How about for the other myriad cycling deaths? While I am horrified and saddened at the terrible death of Mr.LeCanne, and by no means am I minimizing this tragedy, it seems the "cycling scene" in Miami still picks and chooses who/what is more "important." Why is Mr LaCanne's death more "valued" (perhaps the wrong word) than any of the others? Just curious.

    Perhaps a chat with the city will bring about a more permanent memorial, similar to the ones they put up for victims of car crashes. And maybe put some up for the other cyclists of all stripes who have lost their lives to careless or reckless drivers.

  12. @Yvette-

    I agree with the sentiment you express to a certain degree. There are MANY cycling fatalities in MIA that go completely uncovered but the reason is not because the cycling community doesn't really care. It's that media reporting of them is so minimal that not even many cyclists know about them.

    My fiancee and many of my friends are all either Doctors or med students at UM-Jackson. On an average night, they will get at least one trauma in there suffered by a member of the urban poor who was riding his bike intoxicated and either fell or was struck. This is a sad fact of Miami life, but if you go down Grand Ave at 3AM on a Friday night, you will see guys swerving down the road on their bikes and that is how bad shit happens. I do not embellish those facts at all, either.

    The problem is as you describe but not for the reasons you suggest- yes the cycling community gets a bit more worked up over fatalities like LeCanne and Rojo but not because these people were "worth" any more or less. It's because news media does not report back the types of incidents and fatalities I describe. Sadly, no one cares about the urban poor who have few other transportation alternatives.

    FL has more cycling fatalities than any other state in the US, according to ANY metric you use (total #, per capita, per year) according to a decently-publicized DOT study this year.

  13. I think that a ghost bike is certainly less of a distraction to drivers than say, a BILLBOARD!

  14. Thanks, @Michael, for the link to the Rodolfo Rojo ghost bike.

    It is so sad that so many cycling deaths fail to make the news, but we know that words spreads, and isn't the lack of media coverage all the more reason for the cycling community (or at least individuals who hear about these deaths) to make a bigger deal about these fatalities?

    Maybe we can push for memorials of the kind the city/county put up on highways for car crashes, etc, but include perhaps a bike icon? Or we can do something like what I saw on Ocean Drive this week where they set up hundreds of little gravestones for fallen soldiers in Afghanistan.

    My point is that we should make noise--a big noise, like we made for Mr. LaCanne's death-- for every single person on a bike that is killed. Numbers make a difference--volume matters. I doubt that one or two ghost bikes will make little to no difference, unfortunately, but if people see a hundred or more gravestones, that will catch their eye, and maybe bring the message home. Just an opinion, of course.

  15. I have received a response from the director of Public Works and have been able to verify with others that we received the same letter, word by word.

    The only new piece of information is that they will hold a meeting with the "representatives" of the bicycle community to discuss the relocation of the memorial.

    I've asked whether regular citizens or recreational cyclists would be allowed to attend and information about when the meeting will take place.

    I've also asked that in the event only those "representatives" are allowed to attend, whether they will make the list of representatives available so that I can contact or follow up with someone at the meeting.

    I'll let you know if I hear back.


  16. Email response I received:

    Mr. Blair,
    On Monday February 8, 2010, the bicycle which had been hung on the railing of the Bear Cut Bridge, for fallen cyclist Christophe Le Canne was carefully removed and placed in safe storage at the Public Works Department’s Causeway Maintenance Office.  It has not been damaged or discarded, as we certainly understand the sentiment behind the installation, and no disrespect was intended.  Please be advised that the family of the fallen cyclist was contacted by the Department in order to offer them the bicycle which needed to be removed to avoid any potential injuries, however the family respectfully declined to accept it.
    This bicycle had been chained to the railing along the Bear Cut Bridge multiple-use path, without notice or prior approval by PWD and protruded into the pathway which could cause injury to a non-motorized path user. We are certain the parties responsible for the installation of this memorial never intended to create a path obstruction to the pedestrians or bicyclists, but that could be the unfortunate result. Please note that prior to the Memorial Ride, on Friday January 22, 2010 a permanent memorial marker was attached to the bridge at the point of the accident by the Public Works Department (see picture below).
     The Public Works Department is committed to working with representatives of the bicycle organizations to review possible locations for the placement of the bicycle memorial.  A meeting will be scheduled with said representatives and County staff in order to discuss a suitable and safe location.
    Thank you,
    Esther Calas, P.E., Director
    Public Works Department
    111 NW First Street, Suite 1610
    Miami, Florida 33128
    Phone: (305) 375-2960
    Fax: (305) 375-3070
    "Delivering Excellence Every Day"

  17. MIchael, I have no idea what this has to do at all with the village of Key Biscayne. The bridge is in county property and at best closest to the city of Miami. Half of the people you see riding on the causeway live in key biscayne so please dont speak about what you dont know. We the residents of key biscayne are very concerned about this and I refuse to allow anyone to lump us in with Carlos Bertonatti. I ride the causeway 4-5 times a week and the city has no involvement on its maintenance, nor any involvement on the lack of response from Dade county EMS. You are simply rallying people around an affluent city because rich people are an easy target. Get your facts right.

  18. The bike was a haunting beautiful memorial to Mr. Le Canne. You did a great job on it, Rydel. Let's put the bike near a pole not necessarily on the bridge but in plain view of all who pass by.


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