Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 19th, 2011 at 4:17 pm
(Photos: Jeremy Dunn)
Last Saturday, Portlander Jeremy Dunn and a friend were riding westbound on NE Marine Drive when they noticed a piece of debris in the bike lane in front of them.
Luckily they avoided it because upon further inspection, they noticed it was a strip of tar paper with thumbtacks pushed through it. Dunn is convinced the paper and tacks were put there with the intention of flatting bicycle tires.
When he sent in an email and photos about it, I asked why he felt it was a malicious act. Couldn't it have simply been some roofing project debris that fell off a truck?
"No way," replied Dunn, "they were thumbtacks that were pushed through a piece of tar paper and then glued (with tar) perpendicularly across the bike lane." Here's another photo sent in by Dunn...
Dunn added that the strip of paper was about four-feet wide, which is just a bit narrower than the bike lane in that location.
The precise location was where a shared-use path begins next to the water west of NE 185th (see it on Google Maps here).
Fortunately, Dunn and his riding mate didn't flat. "We had our heads up and avoided it because it looked like refuse," he said, "but we came across another rider about a mile down the road who had mysteriously double flatted."
Marine Drive is a very popular bike route and it's also a high-speed arterial road with only one standard vehicle lane in each direction. It's not hard to imagine that some people simply don't like the presence of bikes out there. It's worth noting that this incident comes just about one month after well over 20 people flatted on tacks thrown on bike lanes in North Portland.
I'm curious... Has anyone else flatted from these tacks and/or experienced something similar on Marine Drive?