Mixed feelings surround Kelly Hurlbert's memorial

Community members struggle with leaving memorial in place.

Social media erupted Thursday when someone posted a photo showing the memorial for Kelly Boyce Hurlbert with the white ghost bike missing. A note placed at the memorial said neighbors wanted the bike gone.

Later Thursday afternoon, the bike was returned.

Many neighbors have mixed feelings when it comes to the memorial.

â??Everyday I wake up and take the dog out for a walk first thing in the morning and the memorial is right there,â?? said Calvin Remington, who lives across from the memorial. â??The ghost bike is right there. The tire marks are still there.â??

Residents see it as an important reminder of the tragedy.

â??Especially with it being a bike trail, there needs to be a memorial and there needs to be something to show bikers to be careful at the very least,â?? said Remington.

â??When I drive by the memorial I feel that sense of repair, of re-growth,â?? said Janna Gates, who lives nearby. â??Not necessarily moving on, but you're memorializing in a positive way.â??

Not everyone agrees the memorial is a positive thing. Some people said the memorial has served its purpose and is no longer needed. Others refused to comment.

Remington said heâ??s not surprised people want the memorial taken down.

â??I mean, it's sad, it sucks that it's there, but at the same time it's a memorial and it's something that should be there,â?? said Remington. But he was surprised by the timing. â??It's shocking that its this soon, two months after it happened.â??

The ghost bike went missing Wednesday and a note appeared saying it was "at the request of neighboring residents."

Traverse City Manager Jered Ottenwess said the bikes are in the city's right of way and will have to be addressed at some point, especially when it comes to winter and snow plowing. But as far as he knows, the city is not responsible for the recent removal of the ghost bike.

Thursday, the bike reappeared along with a sign saying the family wants a bike to remain in place â??until the perpetrator is apprehended.â??

While the bike has many people stirred up, residents say the real issue surrounds the nearby pavement.

â??Are they going to repave the road too, to get rid of that? I'd be making more of a stink about that than the ghost bike,â?? said Remington.

â??The tire tracks are evidence of the violence and the horrible act,â?? said Gates.

Community members still want the fatal accident's culprit caught.

â??I hope that there's some resolution. You know, you just hate to think of something like that going without closure,â?? said Gates.

Everyone is urged to turn on their porch lights every Thursday night in remembrance of Kelly Hurlbert.

â??If relatives or her husband walk around and see all the porch lights, we just want them to know we are supporting them and we want this guy or girl found,â?? said Remington.

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