I'm pretty sure they're the remains of tire chains. People in Seattle get only sporadic practice in snow and ice, but sometimes it's very slippery and Seattle is a hilly town. So people put on tire chains, but because they don't get practice, they buy lousy tire chains and put them on wrong. The result? Shredded tire chains make a wreck of the paint on a quarter panel, before spilling their guts on the roadway. Since the City takes a mild interest at best in street cleaning, late winter Seattle streets are a debris field of tire chain guts. Cars run over them until they end up where? In the bike lane.
So I and every Seattle biker gets to dodge bits of what look like purpose-built malice because why? Two reasons:
- Lousy tire chains that ought not be legal to sell.
- A city that cleans the streets approximately never, despite the fact that it would make the city money to clean.
As usual, I try to single-handedly make things better, with mixed results.
So I have a personal rule: the third time I see the same piece of hazardous shite in the roadway, I have to stop and pick it up. (Unless it's a broken bottle, in which case I sweep it out of the path of bikes and pedestrians, and hope for the best. I'm just not willing to pack beer-soaked glass in to work.)
Today's find: some weird metal bracket that seems purpose-built to cause flat tires and pedestrian injury. Nasty