The District Needs a Long Term Solution for Clean & Safe Bike Lanes

Beginning to clean up the gravel in the Warder Street bike lane.

Beginning to clean up the gravel in the Warder Street bike lane.

On June 1st I was alerted to loose gravel in the bike lane at the south end of Warder Street, NW. I presumed this would be an easy issue to resolve and reported it to 311. As it turns out, this was not an easy issue to resolve. After reporting the issue to 311 and then escalating the issue with the Mayor’s Ward 1 representatives in the Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS), a month later the loose gravel was still there.

As I’ve dug into this problem, it is my understanding that keeping bike lanes clean of minor but often dangerous debris is a citywide issue. Not being one to let a problem with a simple solution linger, I took it upon myself to clean up the gravel myself. While Warder Street is now clean, there are other bike lanes elsewhere that still need attention. With this in mind, I will continue to work with the city to find a lasting citywide solution to this problem.

In short, I believe that if Washington is going to invest in bike infrastructure, we also need to invest in bike lane safety and maintenance to ensure that these resources are in good repair and safe.

Boese cleanning bike lane(Commissioner Boese removing gravel from Warder Street bike lane.)

Warder bike lane(Warder Street bike lane with gravel removed.)

Explore posts in the same categories: Bikes, Streets and Trees, traffic, Transportation

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4 Comments on “The District Needs a Long Term Solution for Clean & Safe Bike Lanes”

  1. Ed Says:

    It looks like a rain water run-off problem.


  2. As a fellow cyclist I thank you very much for this deed! This always has been terrifying to me. I agree with the other commenter, however, that it might be a run-off issue as no matter the rain it never fully disappears.

  3. Zack Says:

    Thank you Kent for taking on this task. The gravel had been there for months and made for a harrowing turn on to Warder street.

  4. Vic Says:

    Thank you so much, Kent, for taking that on yourself. You impress me more and more. I noticed the change immediately and it was a safety issue. I think it was gravel that spilled off a truck, not a runoff issue. It was too big for even heavy rains to move, IMHO. And there is no gravel like it nearby.

    I also think you’re right about the bike lane maintenance. The bike lane on the stretch of 4th St that hugs the reservoir is frequently littered with sand, gravel and broken glass that persists for months. It seems to be the worst at the end of winter and beginning of spring. It eats up my drivetrain by throwing sand in the chain and gears, and gives me flats on occasion. And of course gravel in the bike lane can be dangerous.

    Thanks again Kent!


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