Tour de Lab September 1st

Man nets big haul of nails and screws on a walk across the St. Johns Bridge

Posted by on April 2nd, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Part of the haul. See more below.
(Photo: Imgur via Reddit)

A reader shared a Reddit post with us that underscores the poor conditions bicycle riders face on the St. Johns Bridge.

From leaves in fall and gravel in winter, to nails and illegally parked cars and delivery trucks — it sometimes feels like we face a constant barrage of hazards while biking around Portland.

That being said, it’s nice to know people care enough to take matters into their own hands and clean things up.

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This Redditor bought a magnet, walked the length of the St. Johns Bridge and says he picked up about 100-200 nails, screws and other objects. Just imagine how many flat tires he prevented!

We are grateful for his service. It reminds me of Portland’s bike lane trash hauler Danny Dunn and Bill Stites’ pedal-powered bike lane sweeper we profiled back in November.

Read more about this civic hero over on the Reddit thread, where many people have thanked him for preventing flat tires.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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11 Comments
  • Avatar
    Johnny Bye Carter April 2, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    “See something? Do Something!” -K’Tesh

    Recommended Thumb up 7

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    Topher McGarry April 2, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    My tires and morale are greatly appreciative of your efforts. Thank you! Topher.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

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    Alan Love April 2, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Superheroes don’t always wear capes; sometimes they carry magnets. But we can all be heroes in our own small way. Come late spring, I bring a folding handsaw and clean up overgrown branches along SW Multnomah. See a big fallen branch blocking the bike lane? Don’t just ride around it. Pull over and move it. Construction ahead and there’s a big sign a mile before the worksite blocking the bike lane? Move it over to the right side of the sidewalk so it doesn’t block bike or foot traffic, creating an additional hazard that doesn’t need to be there but is still just as visible (that one is a big peeve of mine). We can do little things to help each other out.

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    catherine feta-cheese April 3, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Nice citizen initiative.
    And rather an evocative headline, in the “eats shoots & leaves” mode.

    Recommended Thumb up 13

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    Lester Burnham April 3, 2019 at 6:13 am

    Well done. Thank you!

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    Tom April 3, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Does PBOT use a magnetic sweeper attachment on their street sweepers, or the protected bike lane sweeper?
    Something like this …
    https://youtu.be/Tnqt-zJZQAE

    Recommended Thumb up 1

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    Adam April 3, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    That was a nice thing to do. Wonder if it would be practical to attach a magnetic bar to the bottom of my trailer and collect nails while running errands.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

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    pdx2wheeler April 3, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks to all who help pitch in along their way to make Portland a more safe place for everyone. Pay it forward people!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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    Anne April 4, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Any ideas or objections to a bike rider carrying clippers and chopping down errant tree/bush branches that hang over bike lanes? I would probably throw the cut branches on the planting strip.

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      KristenT April 9, 2019 at 9:41 am

      K’tesh (Jim) did this all the time when he live stateside. He carried clippers, pruners, etc and cleared bike lanes and sidewalks. I think he hauled away the debris for proper disposal later, but I am guessing your solution works just as well.

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    mark smith April 4, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    If only the state owned a device that swept streets…..

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