By now you probably know the back story, and if you don't, most of it is in the link above. Anyway, I have started keeping an eye on the corner of Riverside and Bank, and keeping a box of Crayola sidewalk chalk in my bike panniers. After it rained, I'd stop, usually on my way home from work, and chalk the bike back up. I got a bit creative at times, mixed it up a bit with bike styles, even with the direction the bike was facing (although I found I could only competently draw a bike facing left).
The idea was that I'd keep the chalk bike there, as much as I could, until something was done about the dangerous intersection. To date, three whole years after Meg was killed, nothing has been done to fix the infrastructure problems that led to her death.
But then the bike started disappearing with disturbing regularity. When it hadn't rained.
It poured last Wednesday night. I got caught in it, and drenched crossing the bridge. It was intense. But, I have chalk. So I put the bike back up Thursday night, on my way home from work.
On Saturday - July 30 - around noon, I headed downtown to meet a friend, and was stopped in my tracks. The bike I had drawn about fourteen hours earlier had been washed away, at some point in the night. But what was in its place brought tears to my eyes.But that's okay. I fixed it. pic.twitter.com/3mu1D9juEu— Kathryn Hunt (@k8thek8) July 29, 2016
That last one? It's a little washed out by the sunlight, but it says, "Bless whoever draws the bike."
So yes. I cried on a street corner. Meg's family came to put the chalk bike back up, on the third anniversary of her death, and they thanked me. No: they blessed me.
So guess how I felt this morning when I saw this.
Go ahead and guess.9 am this morning #megsbike looks to be freshly removed. But other chalk dedications left. CC @k8thek8 pic.twitter.com/L6JbMqpWp4— Michael Suddard (@MichaelSuddard) July 31, 2016
Only the bike has been washed away. Not the hearts, not the other tributes written on the wall. Even the plea, "P. L.On," is still there. Meg's photo is still duct-taped to the wall. It's just the bike. This is the work of someone who, for whatever reason, specifically objects to memorials for people on bikes. Someone so threatened by a drawing of a bike done in white chalk that they find a watering can, fill it full of water, lug it all the way to the bridge, and sluice the chalk off in a fit of self-important rage.
Don't even get me started on the utter insult to Meg's family that this represents. On the eve of the anniversary of their loved one's death, this troglodyte marched down there and washed away the chalk bike. They went down there and drew it again, on the day she died, and actually asked him to leave it up. And the day after the anniversary of the death of their friend, daughter, wife, sister, aunt. . . he went back down there with his pathetic little watering can and his sense of entitlement.
This is someone who feels foot-stampingly righteous about removing even the chalk ghosts of the ghost bike that was once there; this is someone who thinks he "won" some kind of "battle" when the City came and cut the locks on the white bike that had been locked to that rail since August of 2013.
This is someone, in short, up with whom I will not put.