Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
North Carolina

A Pumpkin-Protected Bike Lane on All Hallows’ Eve

Volunteers with Bike Durham protected a vital bike lane with pumpkins for Halloween on Thursday. Photo: Shaun King/Visual Rituals

The advocacy group Bike Durham carried out a bit of guerrilla “tactical urbanism,” placing over 50 carved jack-o’-lanterns in the buffer zone of a painted bike lane on Broad Street, one of the city’s main north-south corridors. The action was a rebuke to city government for failing to install a protected bike lane when they resurfaced Broad street last summer, as detailed by Streetsblog.

Bike Durham organizers came up with the idea of using pumpkins after reading about activists in other cities using tomatoes, red Solo cups, and toilet plungers as DIY barriers. The pumpkins are about the same size as the new “armadillo” dividers that some cities are using to make bike lanes safer.

The murderer’s row of cheery orange spheroids was dropped into place just before the afternoon rush hour. Numerous passers-by stopped for pictures; one stopped to help himself to a free pumpkin. The rest remained on the street as darkness fell, just before a thunderstorm ended the night early for trick-or-treaters. No pumpkins were smashed, though one was brushed by a car and tipped over.

Photo: Shaun King/Visual Rituals
Photo: Shaun King/Visual Rituals
Photo: Shaun King/Visual Rituals

Bicycle commuters using the lane were surprised to find it protected, however temporarily. “It’s amazing how much more comfortable it felt to be separated from cars by these little bumps in the road,” said Bike Durham member Marc Maximov. The scary symbols of Halloween made riding on the street a lot less scary.

Here’s a video of the event, made by Shaun King of Bike Durham.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Wednesday’s Headlines Got the Worried Blues

Transit agencies listen to that whistle blow. They're going where they never gone before.

July 17, 2024

Study: More Evidence That Safer Streets Don’t Hurt Local Business

...more insight into why people simply don't believe it.

July 17, 2024

Transit Planning Guru Jarrett Walker Discusses Chicago’s Transit Challenges

Walker, a consultant with the two system, talks about how to improve service. He won't "disagree with their managements in public," but says he's genuinely against the proposed merger.

July 16, 2024

Don’t Believe the Hydrogen Train Hype

Calling hydrogen-powered trains "zero emission" is misleading at best - and even if they were, they lost the race to be "first" a long time ago.

July 16, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines Turn Up the Heat

Triple-digit heat, fueled by climate change, is warping rail lines, interrupting construction work on transit lines and causing burns on sidewalks.

July 16, 2024
See all posts