Bike Lane FAIL: Grateful to Not Be Dead in San José

09 Aug

There’s a reason things go out of fashion. Often they just don’t work, and in some cases they’re downright painful. This dangerous style of rain grate thankfully went of of fashion in most cities in the late 1970s along with bell bottoms, tie-dye and scraggly long hair. Too bad this bike trap is still seen on the streets of San Jose.


Location: Coleman Avenue at Airport Blvd, San Jose, California, USA. Special thanks to Mark Sauerwald for alerting me to this bike lane’s dangerous rain grate.


Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Bike Lane FAIL


12 responses to “Bike Lane FAIL: Grateful to Not Be Dead in San José

  1. ian menzies

    August 10, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Burnie,on the nort coast of Tasmania ,has these everywhere.(and they pretty much sum up Tasmanian attitudes towards cyclists.



  2. Steve A

    August 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

    They had a similar grate in Hurst, Texas, in new sewer work. When I pointed out the danger, the City Engineer made the contractor replace it with a safer one – no argument and no excuses. You and I recognize the danger, but a child could easily be thrown into traffic and killed. Even if the City doesn’t care, its lawyers DO. Even if nothing happens, keep a copy of the complaint – that kid’s parents will thank you. The Hurst events can be accessed via the web link. I hope to see a similarly inspirational response pop up here!

    • ladyfleur

      August 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

      I sent a request in to the City of San Jose. I’m hoping they’re as responsive as your city. And it’s not just kids in danger. Any novice cyclist, anyone not paying attention, riding after dark–these are all cases where this kind of grate can bring someone down.

      • Rachel Unger

        September 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm

        How does one send a request to the city? I know you’ve done it before, and it works, but how?

      • ladyfleur

        September 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

        I tweeted to @SJ_Bikeshare. I also happen to know John Brazil who’s in charge of the San Jose Department of Transportation bike and pedestrian programs.

        Do you have an issue that’s in San Jose?

      • Rachel Unger

        September 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm

        We’ve tried emailing through the SJ city website – I asked you here, and it was (of course) only then that it occurred to me that “maybe I can Google that…”
        It’s a broken glass issue in the street. I don’t know if they send street sweepers by request or by schedule, but I’ll let you know how this turns out!

      • ladyfleur

        September 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm

        Good luck! San Jose has a lot of territory to cover and city budgets are slim. A friend working for city hall lost his job due to budget cuts this summer. He and his wife moved back to Texas which is a real bummer.

  3. fiedlerin

    August 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

    UGH! That brings back memories of tram tracks… I don’t miss them at all. Even though you didn’t fall into them as far you still got stuck and weren’t able to turn your front wheel to get back out.

    • ladyfleur

      August 10, 2012 at 11:00 am

      The streetcar tracks are dangerous too. A man died into Toronto the other day after getting his wheel caught in tracks and falling on his head.

  4. Rachel Unger

    August 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I’m glad you found out about it from a person, rather than discovering it with a wheel. Thanks for passing the warning along.

  5. samapoc

    August 12, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Guy from Houma, LA hit one Of these while crossing a drawbridge. He’s now a quadrapalegic and barely drinks from a straw.

    • ladyfleur

      August 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

      How horribly tragic! I knew someone who got caught in an expansion joint on a bridge, but he escaped with minor injuries.

      I did report this grate to the city and they responded “We are working on getting this addressed. Will keep you updated” Once they get it fixed, I’ll post an update.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ancestral Pathways LLC

This site features a genealogy blog about the Ville Platte Louisiana area African descendant families of Frank, Jason, Denton, Ruben, Leday, Laughtin, Joseph

Jubilo! The Emancipation Century

African Americans in the 19th Century: Slavery, Resistance, Abolition, the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and the Nadir

Grits & Gumbo

Southern family stories with a dash of spice

Granola Shotgun

Stories About Urbanism, Adaptation, and Resilience


Feminist reflections on fitness, sport, and health

madeonmyfingers and design

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The Independent Bike Blog

A blog for bike shops


A fine site


Living the urban/bicycle life

South Bay Streetscape

Exploring Santa Clara County's urban limits

I'm Jame :)

what's on my mind: food, fashion, marketing, cities, tech & more

Let's Go Ride a Bike

Adventures in city cycling

The Backpack Objective

Exploring with kids in the outdoors and in homeschool

Shop by Bike

How and where to shop by bike in Silicon Valley, California

The Empowerment of the Silent Sisterhood

The blog of the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation

%d bloggers like this: