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(Previously) Unsafe storm sewer grates in Lexington, Mass.

December 21, 2006

This was all fixed in October of 2007, in time for darkness and skinnier winter tires. Yay.

On my bicycle commuting route there’s there were some old-style tire-grabbing storm grates, oriented in the worst possible way. I pinged the Lexington selectmen, in hopes of getting the grates fixed, or, failing that, to make it easier to sue, win, and collect the largest possible judgement when someone is harmed by these gratuitous hazards.

On the off chance that anyone reading this doesn’t know what I’m talking about, here’s what the bike tire does when you ride into one of these. Most likely, the tire will come to an instant stop, perhaps collapsing in the process, and you will continue forward into the handlebars and over the front of the bike. It’s hard to imagine a way that this will not hurt, a lot. Broken wrists, smashed groin, and a face-plant in the pavement.

The first grate, not shown, is in front of the Mobil station at the corner of North Street and the Lowell Street (aka Middlesex Turnpike) on Lowell Street.

The next grate is in front of Locke Village, as you turn in from Lowell Street.

The third grate is a little further along, almost to the Burlington town line.

Here we are in the next millennium, and not only do we lack flying cars, world peace, and a cure for cancer, we still do the same stupid things we knew were wrong over 30 years ago. It doesn’t even cost any extra money to do it right (in fact I think that the grate can be turned 90 degrees for a quick fix) but we still do it wrong. And remember, this is Lexington, with the highest per-capita concentration of Nobel Prize winners on the planet. Odds are pretty good that your town is stupider.

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