Bicyclists concerned about litter on Columbia streets
COLUMBIA - Some Columbia bicyclists say they're worried about trash and debris in the city's bike lanes.
“There are a lot of bicyclists who commute up and down on Ash Street and it seems like there can be a lot of trash,” said Angela Peterson, who works at CycleX Bike Shop. “You can see some random objects lying among the bike lanes.”
One bike racer, who preferred not to give her name, said it's a big problem.
"As I ride around town, I see trash on the sides of the road in the gutters, debris in the streets and bike lanes that stay there for months to up to a year," the rider said.
Peterson said there are a lot of cyclists coming to the shop to repair damage done by the litter.
“Sometimes to avoid hitting on trash, bicyclists need to risk going into traffic,” she said. “It can put bicyclists in greater danger if the driver behind them aren't paying attention.”
Peterson said keeping lanes clean requires a joint effort.
“As people respect it more and stop throwing trash onto the bike lane, as well as the city could clean it up better. That way people can feel safer and commute without worrying about getting a flat,” she said.
The city's website says Columbia was rated a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community in 2009 by the League of American Bicyclists. It is currently the highest ranked Missouri city.
KOMU reached out to the City of Columbia about the cyclists' concerns.
"I don't think we have programs specific to removing debris from dedicated bike lanes," spokesperson Steven Sapp said. "We do have street sweepers which make passes when resources allow."