SDOT Still Leaving Nails on Seattle Streets

I blogged last summer that Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is leaving metal spikes in city streets. They're still doing it. This spring, SDOT conducted a traffic study around Univeristy Bridge. On June 5, 2009, I noticed that SDOT had removed the traffic sensor but once again left the metal spikes behind in the pavement. As the picture above shows, they're still there. The spikes are on the southbound bridge approach from NE 40th. This street is marked with sharrows indicating it as a bike route. The spikes are somewhat over a foot from the curb, roughly in the center of the area you'd expect a bike to travel. The spikes stick up out of the pavement over a centimeter. Hitting the spike with a tire would probably cause a flat, and could cause a bike to lose control, even if the spikes didn't cause a flat. Eventually, the spikes will work themselves loose, presenting a hazard to cars, bikes, and pedestrians.

Taking the spikes out isn't difficult. They pop right out with a crowbar. It happens I don't carry a crowbar with me on my bike, or I would have taken them out myself. But apparently, SDOT crews don't bother to take spikes out, at least some of the time.

I'm trying to fathom a situation where somebody thinks it's a good idea to leave a spike in the pavement rather than take 5 seconds to pull it out and dispose of it. Is SDOT doing this all over town? This just seems idiotic to me.

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