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Heads Up If You Use the 11th Street Bike Lane

bike lane
Photo by PoPville flickr user sssdc1

“Dear PoPville,

I/m writing to let you know about a current hazard to bicyclists heading northbound on 11th St NW.

Yesterday when heading home from work (around 6 PM), I noticed multiple large piles of shattered glass (approx 6-7 piles in total) in the northbound bicycle lane on 11th St NW, all between Irving and Monroe streets. The piles of glass were very large– they each appeared to be from multiple broken bottles (large shards of green, brown, and white glass – larger than what you typically see from a smashed car window). Also, every pile of glass was in the bike lane, none in the road or sidewalk on that stretch from what I was able to observe. In hindsight I wish I had stopped to take a picture of one or more of the piles, but at the time it was not my first thought.

When I got home I immediately called 311 to report the issue, and the operator confirmed that she would send someone out to check it out and clean up the glass. Sadly, when riding southbound on 11th this morning, I was able to observe that most (if not all) of the piles from the previous afternoon were still there. Any suggestions on how we can get this cleaned up?

I’m thankful that at the time I was riding northbound yesterday, there was not much car or bicycle traffic around me, so I was able to notice the glass coming up and move into the car lane to avoid it. Still, I worry that if someone is riding in the bike lane during heavy traffic or when it’s dark out, these piles of glass could be a very serious hazard.

Lastly, if any readers saw someone creating these piles of broken glass on the northbound stretch of 11th St NW between Irving and Monroe, I’d encourage them to report it if they haven’t already. If someone saw just one bottle being smashed on the street they might just shrug it off as someone being inconsiderate, whereas in the context of the bigger picture it certainly appears that this was done on purpose (rather than as an accident or a careless act).

(Note: The focus of this message is to hopefully warn about and remediate this bike hazard, not to spur a pro-bike vs anti-bike debate.)”

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