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No, Those Aren’t Ghost Bikes Decorated with Skeletons in Bloomingdale

Photograph by Brittany Shepherd.

A group of bikes painted white in Bloomingdale have been festooned with Halloween decorations, including bats, neon-green plastic skeletons, and jack-o’-lanterns. Yet a spokesperson for Washington Area Bicyclist Association says that neighborhood art installation, which closely resembles “ghost bikes”—those urban artworks that memorialize cyclists who’ve been killed—is anything but.

“There was some sort of collective ‘huh’, when we saw photos of the fence,” says Colin Browne, communications director of WABA. In fact, Browne says, this isn’t the first time he’s seen a white bicycle being used as a fence: “it’s likely decoration by someone who did not understand the meaning of the white painted bicycle.”

A plaque in front of the bike lists neighborhood landscape artist Tom Noll‘s name and phone number. Noll could not be reached by time of publication.

This is not the first time that Noll has added some festivity to the fence. Back in July, the artist and children’s book author added American flags to each of the bikes in honor of Independence Day. He also added ladybugs and streamers before Labor Day weekend.

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Brittany Shepherd joined Washingtonian as a staff writer in June 2018. She previously covered the White House for Independent Journal Review. She currently lives in Navy Yard.