Tacks on Vancouver Ave bike lane cause several flats

Tacks have strewn across the bike lane on
Vancouver Ave have caused several
flats this week.
(Photo: @seniortrio/Twitter)

Small and very sharp tacks have been showing up in the bike lane of N Vancouver Avenue for the past few days and they’ve claimed several victims.

I got the first report about them on Tuesday from reader Brian R. who said he was rolling on Vancouver at about 3:30 pm when three tacks pierced his front tire. “I was curious if any of your other readers had the same misfortune or it was just my bad luck?”

Then I heard from Metropolis Bike Shop owner Nathan Roll. Roll’s shop is on Williams, just one block away from Vancouver. Roll said he had two customers come into the shop with double flats caused by “large numbers of tacks in the Vancouver bike lane.” Roll said the tacks were in the road just south of Russell.

“The first time it happened [on Tuesday] one of my guys went out and picked up a handful of thumbtacks. Today, the customer went out and came back with a handful of tiny carpet tacks that are a dark grey color that I’m sure is almost invisible at 15-20 mph.”

Roll has called in a maintenance request to the city and he’s curious if anyone else has gotten flats.

And then just a few hours ago I got a message via Twitter from @senortrio who wrote, “Just got 2 flat tires from tacks in the Rose Quarter bus mall.” After I asked for more info, @senortrio added that he was headed down Vancouver before he noticed the tacks and that they got his friend’s tires too.

The tacks could have fallen off a truck and spilled into the bike lane. Or of course, someone could be playing a mean trick (it’s been known to happen in the past). Whatever’s going on, I’m curious if other readers have flatted in this location and I hope the City gets it swept up soon.

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