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'Fake' memorial with banged-up bike slows speeding in Murray neighborhood

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jun 26, 2024

MURRAY, Utah — A unique memorial, one unlike any other in Utah, has popped up at a Murray intersection that has seen its share of dangerous driving.

"Cars do 70 through here everyday," explained resident David Smith. "Lines of traffic are doing 60 miles an hour, just double the speed limit."

About 10 days ago, the memorial featuring a banged up kids bicycle wrapped in flowers, along with the photo of a young child, showed up between 1600 East and 1700 East at Vine Street

"We've been wondering what it's about," said Charles Andrews, who lives in the area.

FOX 13 News investigated whether there had been any crashes in the area or at the intersection and found none. Instead, it was learned that the memorial is a fake, created by Smith, who is looking to make for a safer neighborhood.

"We put out this, I guess you can call it an art piece or a shrine, which is fake," admitted Smith.

It was all created to remind people to slow down.

"I don't want to wait 'til I'm putting out a picture of a kid that I know," said Smith. "So we went ahead and put this out there to try and slow people down a little bit."

It may be a fake, but Smith claims the memorial is doing its job.

"From the moment that we put it out, we see people slamming on the brakes where they used to pump on the gas," he said.
The girl in the photo with the bike is someone Smith was once related to, who is now in her 40s and lives on the other side of the valley, while the bike is one he ran over in the driveway.
"Coming out of our neighborhood, before I knew [about fake memorial], turning left and seeing that, was like probably, slow down," said Andrews.

The faux memorial has sparked conversation in the neighborhood.

"It's a clever idea," added Andrews, "and it helps you reflect on people who have experienced loss, and you don't want to put someone in that way."

Smith freely admits that the banged-up bike and picture might rub some people the wrong way.

"I can accept that there's a bad feeling associated with this," he said. "I probably have the worst feeling because I'm the one who had to make it, and I'm the one who has to have it in front of my house and I don't want that."

Local police would not comment on the memorial after FOX 13 News reached out.

Despite the apprehension, Smith still puts out fresh flowers and has added to the memorial to help keep up appearances.

"We're going to keep it going to try and keep that memory out there for people, that we're all community here and everyone needs to look out for each other," said Smith, "and I really don't want your kid to be next."