Hi Kelly, Kate, et al.
Again I called about this issue, again I emailed about this issue, and I still haven't heard anything about it. Today I called again, and I asked the dispatcher what's up. I was informed by her that a crew was dispatched and they found that the grates were faced the correct way (which I don't deny), and that it was safe for cyclists.
REALLY?!!! These looks safe to you?
I'll say that in the image with the cyclist the gap that is there now, is not wide enough to catch a wheel, as it is now. When someone moves those grates, which I am unwilling to do, there is the potential for a large enough gap to be formed. How far away is that car from that cyclist? I now have photos, pending upload to flickr, showing that the space behind the bike seen in the photo with the red bike is free and clear of any parked cars, thus making this a viable approach for a cyclist. My complaint was about the FIT
of the grates, not the orientation of them.
I'll add a recommendation, to the supplies on your maintenance trucks that are dispatched to complaints from cyclists about storm drain grates a Road bicycle's wheel should be added. The grates should be lifted out of the inlet, the inlet's border cleaned, the grate should be safely reinstalled, and then the wheel should be inserted to see if there is ANY possibility that a gap being formed that could catch a cyclist's wheel (it only takes 3/4ths of an inch). Another option is a simple Swiss Army knife. Mine (Victorinox, Ranger Model) is 3/4ths of an inch wide. If it fits in the gap, so can a wheel.
Unsafe Grates at SW 6th and SW Harrison, Portland Oregon (reported)
If I was in it for the money, I'm sure that I'd be a LOT more accident prone. I'm not complaining just to complain, I am trying to save people from a painful experience, and the city money from a preventable accident. I feel that my issues are often falling on deaf ears, or the instructions being given are being ignored. Please look into this, why is it that it that several times it has taken a number of phone calls, and emails to get issues resolved (months to years... eg, the complaint about the deep inlet on SW Barbur first photographed in 2008, fixed 2012).
2008 and 2012
I'd appreciate you looking into my track record. How often are my complaints HONESTLY been frivolous? Have I not been able to back them up with photographs showing the danger? Why am I feeling ignored? You can see in my initial email, I asked for a response. I've provided my address, phone, and email. To date, on this issue, I only received one "out of the office until the 13th" email from Chad. I've left voice messages, I've got a phone with me nearly 24/7, and still nothing. Where is the disconnect?
If I didn't care, I wouldn't call, I wouldn't email, I wouldn't bother. Please think about this when someone brings something to your attention.
And again I'll ask: "Can someone provide me with the requirements for the proper fit of grates in their inlets?" There has to be a standard, and I'm sure it's not being adhered to.
Replies Greatly Appreciated
Subject: FW: Wheel grabbing grates at SW 6th and SW Harrison
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 12:38:24 -0700
I've been back several times since I sent this, and I've seen no progress. I realize that when a crew might arrive there would be a car parked blocking the approach to this grate, but it's not always occupied, and it would be extremely easy for me to get video of the location w/o a car.
I've also not received any feedback on the standards for fit of grates in their inlets. Does anybody know what they are, or can direct me to where to find them?
Subject: Wheel grabbing grates at SW 6th and SW Harrison
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 17:58:13 -0700
Hi Chad, Ray, Jonathan, Basil,
Just wanted to forward these images I took today of the one of the three storm drain grates I found at the intersection of SW 6th Ave. and SW Harrison (across from PSU's Bike Hub) that could pose a bicycle safety hazard. I called them into the 24 Hour Maintenance Hotline.
In this photo, you can see my friend's bike's tire can easily slip inside the gap. If he had been riding when that happened, we can imagine the results.
In my next photos, I have my pocket knife (Victorinox, Ranger Model, Swiss Army Knife) in place to give scale
As you can see, it's another case of the grates that were installed being narrower than the inlet they were installed in.
This begs the question, what's the standard for the fit of grates in their inlets? Can something be done about these hidden hazards?