The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is undermining the city's bicycle infrastructure by allowing a signature protected bike lane on Capitol Hill to fall into disrepair. What message does this send, both to the public at large and to cyclists attempting to use this facility?
Librarian Mike Scully tweeted the above photo this morning at 8 a.m, as he commuted by bicycle to work. "Swerving when bad parking jobs nudge dividers is one thing," he said, "but this was new and seemingly quite intentional/trickier to avoid."
It's not like SDOT hasn't had an opportunity to take care of this design defect before. I've been writing and tweeting about the so-called "bollards" lining the cycletrack—which aren't fixed to the ground and keep getting bumped into the bicycle lane—since last summer.
Each time, SDOT crews have driven out and manually put the bollards back where they belong—only for them to get knocked into the cycletrack again.
In October, SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan said the bollards would be permanently fixed by the end of 2014.
In January, Sheridan, when I asked again, pledged they would be fixed by the end of that month. We joked about it. It was funny then. But it's not really funny anymore. Now it's pathetic.
Last Wednesday, Sheridan said in an e-mail that SDOT "attempted to use curbing to prevent the bollards from moving." But—wait for it—the curbing didn't prevent the bollards from moving.
Next plan: "To better hold the bollards in place, we are having large metal fasteners manufactured," Sheridan said.
Those fasteners are expected to be installed in "late February/early March."
This is how you give reactionary conservatives—who believe government can never do right, and/or that bike lanes are an assault on the right to life of parking spots—a leg to stand on. Fail to solve a simple problem, miss your own deadlines, repeat, repeat, repeat.
C'mon SDOT—you can do better than this. Can't you? I mean, it sure sounds like you can when it comes to potholes:
94% of reported potholes are filled w/in 72 hrs, according to SDOT Director. Report yours here http://t.co/gTkU1ASlZz pic.twitter.com/xIg1S1w1vi
— Seattle City Council (@SeattleCouncil) February 24, 2015
(h/t to @jseattle for the smurf inspiration.)