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  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Does your city sweep its bike lanes?

    Mine doesn't seem to.

    How else will a bike lane get cleaned? This is one of the major reasons I have disliked the bike lanes I've seen. What's it like in your area? Please talk about it, if you feel led.
    No worries

  2. #2
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Mine doesn't seem to.

    How else will a bike lane get cleaned? This is one of the major reasons I have disliked the bike lanes I've seen. What's it like in your area? Please talk about it, if you feel led.
    In Irvine, California, there are bike lanes on most of the main arterial roadways. I'm told they're swept once every two weeks (not often enough IMO).
    -- I speak for myself only, not LAB or any other organization of which I am a member.

  3. #3
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    In Houston, the few so-called bike lanes on public roads are simply a faded white light next to the gutter. Over the years, the gutter has filled with dirt, mud, glass, bits of metal, broken concrete...I've never seen the slightest evidence any of these gutters have been cleaned.

    The other thing about these bike lanes is that they are usually on roads where the flow of traffic is between 40 mph and 50 mph. If you ride in the cleanest portion of the gutter, which is up next to the white divider line, the side mirrors on trucks clear your shoulder by about a foot or two, IF the driver stays centered in his lane.

    Guess how often I ride on those streets?

  4. #4
    Stooge thebankman's Avatar
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    San Francisco just got a bunch of rain and ever since the bike lanes have been horrible. Tons of big debris from trees, rocks, "street gravel," and the like. It's been like this for over a week, hard to bike in some of these lanes without mountain bike tires.

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I was just on a four day bike tour of the Olympic Peninsula and out in the middle of BFE I came across a small 'shoulder sweeper' cleaning up the road shoulders, about 15 miles from any municipality...I thought that ROCKED! the highway road shoulder was largely clean and freshly brushed...

    In Seattle they definetly clean the bike paths and lanes, but not with any regularity. some crew is currently keeping the leaves blown off the Burke Gilman trail, a main route N/S from the University of Washington.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  6. #6
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    Our bike lanes don't get cleaned here in Portland, at least not often. This fall they were covered in a slippery paste of ground up leaves and water.

    When there was a cyclist hit by an RV on a bike laned road the city repainted the bike lane but they didn't sweep it first. We now have bright white pine needles and painted glass shards to mark the bike lane.

  7. #7
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=alanbikehouston]In Houston, the few so-called bike lanes on public roads are simply a faded white light next to the gutter. Over the years, the gutter has filled with dirt, mud, glass, bits of metal, broken concrete...I've never seen the slightest evidence any of these gutters have been cleaned.
    QUOTE]

    Funny thing is the mayor of Houston is supposed to be a big cyclist. And yet on the inagural Tour de Houston last year, the route went down streets that had bike lanes with trash drifted as high as the curb. There's a fine mixed message for you.

    When we got a new bike lane here in Lafayette, on a state road, the DOTD promised to sweep the lane 'periodically'. One year and counting, and it has yet to be swept. Since it is a state road, the city claims they cannot touch it.

    Is it little wonder many riders feel that BIKE LANES = BIKE GHETTOES?

    Give me WOL any day.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    At one time San Diego used to do this. They even had special narrow bike lane sweepers to get into path areas.

    Funding got diverted, proposition 13 came into play, politicians got a fat pension plan, and everything changed from libraries closing early to fewer police per capita to the lack of street maintenance.

    Now we consider ourselves lucky if they patch the potholes every couple of years.

  9. #9
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    In the Minneapolis area all the bike lanes and bike trails get a good sweeping in the Spring. After that it's pretty hit or miss. But it is nice to see that winter sand and crap accumulation go away every April.

    Also, they do a pretty good job of plowing the bike trails, but they don't salt them so they're pretty treacherous due to icy patches.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foible
    Our bike lanes don't get cleaned here in Portland, at least not often. This fall they were covered in a slippery paste of ground up leaves and water.

    When there was a cyclist hit by an RV on a bike laned road the city repainted the bike lane but they didn't sweep it first. We now have bright white pine needles and painted glass shards to mark the bike lane.
    Yes, west of Portland, in the Beaverton/outlying area, the worst offenders are swept, and the others don't accumulate much of anything.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  11. #11
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Honestly I don't know. But our bike lanes are as clean as the roads for the most part, so somebody must be doing something. I never see the conditions most of the folks on this list complain about.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  12. #12
    Kicked out of the Webelos bluebottle1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    In Houston, the few so-called bike lanes on public roads are simply a faded white light next to the gutter. Over the years, the gutter has filled with dirt, mud, glass, bits of metal, broken concrete...I've never seen the slightest evidence any of these gutters have been cleaned.

    The other thing about these bike lanes is that they are usually on roads where the flow of traffic is between 40 mph and 50 mph. If you ride in the cleanest portion of the gutter, which is up next to the white divider line, the side mirrors on trucks clear your shoulder by about a foot or two, IF the driver stays centered in his lane.

    Guess how often I ride on those streets?
    The bike lanes in Houston are, for the most part, absolutely worthless and for precisely the reasons you mention. All the debris from the roadway gets blown into the bike lane, and I've never once seen one swept. On a lot of streets, I'd think you couldn't go more than a couple blocks without a flat.

  13. #13
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Honestly I don't know. But our bike lanes are as clean as the roads for the most part, so somebody must be doing something. I never see the conditions most of the folks on this list complain about.
    But you also don't have the debris creating environment (sand for ice, lots of falling leaves, non-city cared for trees) that other parts of the US/world have. Also the winters are not hard on asphault so potholes, etc. are rarer. Similar situation here in Phx. But what we do have are things like large palm fronds, baseball sized rocks (used in medians/shoulders that fall out of containment sometimes) and random stuff that falls from vehicles. Nails are common here in some parts of the metro area due to lots of home construction.

    Al

  14. #14
    Senior Member librarian's Avatar
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    In our town, Ocean City NJ, if you would like a particular street swept more often than their regualr schedule all you have to do is call the public works dept. and they get out in a couple of days. Works great.

  15. #15
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    They do a great job here is Weston, the bike lanes are immaculate. After Wilma went through things were a big mess for awhile. They have it all cleaned out now, the only problem is on one stretech were they used heavy equipment to clean up the debris they left 1"-2" deep gauges in the lane for about 0.5mi. Hope they get them filled soon

  16. #16
    Lint Picker toshi's Avatar
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    A lot of the dedicated bike lanes in my neck of San Francisco are pretty clean, but then I'm in the South of Market area and there isn't a whole lot of foliage in the first place.

    What isn't so hot are those roads where there aren't sequestered bike lanes - I've seen the same glass splatter patterns for weeks. The city doesn't maintain its decaying roads very aggressively, and it doesn't clean them, either. I take the lane or get as far into it as possible as much as I can, because all the glass refuse is scattered alongside parked cars.

  17. #17
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Los Angeles,

    the bit of bike lane that I travel gets a pretty frequent cleaning. But no amount of cleaning can keep up with the broken glass from busted out car windows and daily intersection fender benders. I would say that glass is my biggest flat tire cause.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  18. #18
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    What are bike lanes?

  19. #19
    NJS my life! roughrider504's Avatar
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    I don't have bike lanes. But I take a lane of road to myself and it's pretty clean

  20. #20
    Lint Picker toshi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    Los Angeles,

    the bit of bike lane that I travel gets a pretty frequent cleaning. But no amount of cleaning can keep up with the broken glass from busted out car windows and daily intersection fender benders. I would say that glass is my biggest flat tire cause.
    Not to hijack the thread, but I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that glass from cars was pretty harmless. I use ultra gator skins and ride over the stuff all day. Auto safety glass seems too blocklike and rotund to slice into a more resilient tire... am I mistaken?

  21. #21
    strange newbie cyclist
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    I'm not sure if my city even sweeps the streets...
    majikstreet
    Mongoose Bolt

  22. #22
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    What are bike lanes?
    I don't see too many on my commute either. When I do encounter them, it seems like debris from the road is swept INTO them. After drunken fools and transients add remnants from their favorite beverage containers, I usually prefer the road.

  23. #23
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Cary, NC claims to sweep collector streets once every three months; bike lane cleaning is done as part of the street sweeping. The arterials are all state-maintained, and they never get swept.

    Some of the bike lanes quickly fill up with leaves, pine needles, pinecones, etc. depending on the location. Others fill with sand in the winter and are not swept until spring. Gravel and broken glass are found year-round; the busiest streets see the most of this.

  24. #24
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCI_Brian
    In Irvine, California, there are bike lanes on most of the main arterial roadways. I'm told they're swept once every two weeks (not often enough IMO).
    I have to add that Irvine is a fairly wealthy city, so they have the money for regular sweeping.

    Ah, I did find the reference to indicate that all of the roads are swept bi-weekly:
    http://www.ci.irvine.ca.us/depts/pw/streetmaintain/
    -- I speak for myself only, not LAB or any other organization of which I am a member.

  25. #25
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebankman
    San Francisco just got a bunch of rain and ever since the bike lanes have been horrible. Tons of big debris from trees, rocks, "street gravel," and the like. It's been like this for over a week, hard to bike in some of these lanes without mountain bike tires.
    They don't fix the chuckholes or cracks in the pavement either. Once the lanes get striped, that's the end of "maintenance".
    ---

    San Francisco, California

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