PoPville PSA – Road Hazard for bike on 9th St, NW by Convention Center

“Dear PoPville,

I bike down 9th street, NW to get downtown often. There is a strange track-looking thing that extends down 9th between L and M, NW. See the attached pictures. It is a deep groove between two metal plates and it’s been there for as long as I can remember, years? It’s just big enough to trap a bike tire inside and despite me avoiding riding over/near it, I must have turned wrong yesterday and my wheel lodged itself inside the track and catapulted me into the street.

First, what is this thing? Does it serve a purpose? I remember there being an issue on H street when the tracks were installed and had to be fixed because of a similar bike hazard. Do you think DDOT would care about this issue?

– Bruised and bloody Mt Vernon Square resident.”

Unfortunately this issue comes up about every six months after a crash. In previous comments we’ve learned:

“They are expansion joints. Due to changes in weather, hot and cold, materials expand or contract. You will most commonly see these on bridges. The reason why the convention center has these is because of the sky walks over the streets. The expansion joints allow the entire building to move together and prevents cracking.”

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