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Cyclists say flat tires caused by city's use of crushed glass on roads

2012-02-03T00:00:00Z 2012-02-03T00:24:15Z Cyclists say flat tires caused by city's use of crushed glass on roadsBy PIPER HAUGAN Independent Record Helena Independent Record
February 03, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Michael Farrell relies on his road bike to get him to and from work every day. So when his tire popped last week, he had to walk about a mile.

And when he had another flat again this week, he was stuck walking once again and wondering about the culprit of his misfortune. 

“I ride everywhere,” Farrell told the IR. “My bike is important to me, for my commute.”

Turns out, Farrell is not alone. Though several local auto shops say they haven’t seen a change, bike shops in town are reporting an increase in popped tires due to glass this time of year compared to winters past.

“Our mechanic is currently fixing his own bike that has a flat caused by glass,” said Jim Barnes, owner of Big Sky Cycling and Fitness. “He hasn’t had any flats in the past three years, but he’s had several in the past weeks.”

Barnes said Helena cyclists have always had issues with broken glass on the road year round, but fewer cyclists ride their bikes throughout the winter. Already this winter, several customers have come in to buy new inner tubes for their bike tires.

“We’ve always contended with broken bottles,” he said. “I just don’t believe that it’s from the broken bottle issue that’s been there.”

Eric Grove, owner of Great Divide Cyclery, said his shop has definitely been hearing about bike tires popped by glass more frequently this winter as well.

“It seems like it’s more prevalent these days,” he said.

One difference between this winter and years past is the type of mix the city’s using for traction on icy and snowy streets. This winter is the second one the city’s been using pulverized recycled glass in the mix. City Manager Ron Alles said the city went through the Department of Environmental Quality to make sure the pulverized glass was environmentally sound, and it was approved. He said the small pieces of glass don’t have sharp edges and don’t cut tires, though the sparkly bits are very evident on the roads. He said as a demonstration, he’s grabbed a handful of the glass and rubbed it between his hands to show its harmlessness.

That said, “I couldn’t tell you that no glass got in somebody’s bike tire,” Alles said. “Whether or not it was our glass I don’t know.”

The city’s public works director, John Rundquist, said the glass is crushed down to three-eighths inch in size and is run through a screen that prevents large pieces from getting into the mix. Alles said the glass mixture goes through the same screening as the old traction grit, which prevented larger rocks from getting through.

“We have very good quality control on these things,” Rundquist said. “There’s no way at all a 3-inch piece of glass could’ve gotten through.”

The city’s street superintendent, Ben Sautter, said he’s looked through the city’s 500 tons of glass “just about every other day” and has yet to find a sharp piece. He said over the past week, the city’s swept up most of the sand and pulverized glass mix and returned it to the warehouse for further recycling. He said it looks and feels just the same as it did before it went out.

“I was wondering if it would wear down and look different after it gets run over,” Sautter said. “I’m not seeing that.”

All three city personnel said they’d received very few calls about the glass. Sautter encouraged anyone with damage caused by glass to save the glass and bring it in to determine whether or not it’s the city’s pulverized glass, which looks completely different than a broken bottle. The city has a process in place for victims of property damage.

If it turns out that the city’s glass is causing damage, Alles said the alternative is to put the glass in the landfill rather than recycle it. He pointed out that glass is inert and essentially no different than dirt or sand, and it doesn’t cause toxicity in the environment.

Barnes commended the city for recycling the glass, but he said he hopes the roads get cleared quickly as ridership picks up in the spring.

Farrell said he spent $9 for a new tube last week and doesn’t want to put in a claim for the $2 patch kit he got this week. He said the problem has cost him more than just money: It’s cost him time and energy. 

“It’s not going to end,” he said.


Reporter Piper Haugan: 447-4075, piper.haugan@helenair.com or Twitter.com/IR_PiperHaugan

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(37) Comments

  1. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - February 08, 2012 3:31 pm
    Raihm, gravel isn't much better. It can be just as sharp, probably is just as bad if you swallow it. Depending on what (if any) tread one has on their tires can have gravel puncture a tire. How many windshields around here are cracked/broken from gravel, particulary in the winter? As far as mowing the lawn and dangers associate with this glass, same goes for gravel. Not only that we get some pretty high wind around here. I've found all sorts of interesting objects blown on my apartment lawn, any one of which (if not picked up before mowing) can get thrown from a lawnmover with enough force to hurt someone or break glass. Not only that, we do live in the rocky mountains. I'll bet plenty of you run across rocks in your yard that have worked themselves up out of the ground and have been "hit" during mowing.

    On highways I'm told they use a substance that melts snow/ice but apparently isn't used in town because people don't like the mess it creates.

    How is said, you can please only some people part of the time but can't please most people most of the time?
  2. Riamh
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    Riamh - February 08, 2012 2:21 pm
    I'm afraid I must eat some crow here..

    While taking a walk, I got to see some Helena's pulverized glass traction aid. Instead of using the finer sand-like glass, these idiots appear to be using really coarse stuff. While I was unable to cut my fingers handling any of it, I was surprised at the size of the chunks. Perhaps if they pulverized it to a finer size, it might actually be effective and safe.. Though I was unable to cut my skin, on this glass, I can now at least understand some of the concern that some of you have shown.
  3. Riamh
    Report Abuse
    Riamh - February 07, 2012 10:39 pm
    infidel4 said: "and sand it just small, ground rock. Maybe when Dietz1963 grows up and gets his own home, with a lawn he has to mow, and maybe kids.. he will appreciate the worries the rest of us have about our streets, sidewalks and lawns now being covered with glass. How anyone can defend that practice is hard to believe. If this is what the city is doing with the glass that I put in the recycling bins, I will start putting it in the dumpster, or maybe just smash it on my street. Seems like an acceptable practice and the city trucks don't have to burn gas to get it there. "

    Infidel, the pulverized glass used by the city is like a fairly coarse sand, it has no sharp edges, and cannot cut anything. If you have a problem with shards of sharp glass in your area, then you have another source of glass. Please, stop overreacting to the word "glass". Your lawnmower can't throw this stuff with any more force than it could throw any other kind of sand.
  4. Riamh
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    Riamh - February 07, 2012 5:51 pm
    Montman said: "Sounds like a job for "Myth Busters" on the Discovery Channel to look at. I think the cold makes the rubber more inflexible and easier to puncture from any number of objects. And wouldn't the culprit piece of glass still be embedded in the tube? This article is opinion based, not science or any in depth research. "

    You are absolutely correct. The glass used as traction aid is no sharper, or more dangerous than any of the other billions of pebbles on the road. People are making mountains out of molehills.
  5. Riamh
    Report Abuse
    Riamh - February 07, 2012 5:49 pm
    dietz1963 said: "Glass is a rock? LMAO. And all this time I thought glass was made out of silicon i.e. sand. "

    Dietz, what do you think sand is? Lots of little tiny rocks. Most glass is made from mostly silica, soda ash, and limestone, so lots of rocks in there. Colored glasses use various metallic oxides thrown into the mix.
  6. infidel4
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    infidel4 - February 07, 2012 4:45 pm
    and sand it just small, ground rock. Maybe when Dietz1963 grows up and gets his own home, with a lawn he has to mow, and maybe kids.. he will appreciate the worries the rest of us have about our streets, sidewalks and lawns now being covered with glass. How anyone can defend that practice is hard to believe. If this is what the city is doing with the glass that I put in the recycling bins, I will start putting it in the dumpster, or maybe just smash it on my street. Seems like an acceptable practice and the city trucks don't have to burn gas to get it there.
  7. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - February 07, 2012 12:35 pm
    Glass is a rock? LMAO. And all this time I thought glass was made out of silicon i.e. sand. And more expensive to recycle? Say what? In fact, its actually cheaper. According to companies that do it, they say it takes less energy. Seems to me saving energy saves costs. Gets in the house, really? When I have something on my shoes, which can be anything from gravel, a tack, gum, mud, rocks....I clean off my shoes BEFORE I enter my apartment. If I'm too lazy to do it (and sometimes I am) I take off my shoes BEFORE I enter my apartment. A lawsuit against the city because a child ingests this glass? And the city would be sued for negligance? Wow, does that mean if a child ingests anything that they shouldn't that a company gets sued? Thats probably not far fetched, hotdog companies have been sued when kids have choked on hotdogs hence why now there is a warning on hotdog packages to make sure kid is sitting up in the chair while eating and how to cut up the hotdog.

    Reading a lot of this made my day, TOO funny.
  8. infidel4
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    infidel4 - February 07, 2012 10:20 am
    Putting glass on the streets could be the biggest, most ridiculous project the City has done yet. Recycling of glass does nothing for anyone, with the exception of saving space in the landfill. Glass is made of ROCK, we have no lack of rock as a natural resource. It is a proven fact that it takes more fuel, trucks, etc., to recycle glass, then to make new glass. Without the landfill space savings, it would make no sense at all. However, now the City has just added yet another danger by spraying glass everywhere, including my yard. What will it be like when glass shards are thrown by my mower? The liability the city took on for this nonsensical project is huge.
  9. LostinTranslation
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    LostinTranslation - February 07, 2012 9:41 am
    My biggest issue with glass on the roads is the fact that it gets imbedded in shoe tread. Then it ends up in my house destroying my carpet. I also have to small children who think that it is amazing that the road, driveway and sidewalks seem to sparkle with color. When the glass comes into my house and my infant, who puts everything in his mouth, happens upon a piece what do you think happens? I can vaccumm three times a day and still find glass. I hate this form of "recycling"! I suppose until someone finds glass and blood in their childs diaper and sues the city for negligence we can look forward to the road ways full of glittering colors.
  10. Montman
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    Montman - February 06, 2012 9:37 pm
    Sounds like a job for "Myth Busters" on the Discovery Channel to look at. I think the cold makes the rubber more inflexible and easier to puncture from any number of objects. And wouldn't the culprit piece of glass still be embedded in the tube? This article is opinion based, not science or any in depth research.
  11. bigjon
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    bigjon - February 04, 2012 6:21 pm
    Here I am again; at the end of the line. I am a little older and
    perhaps not very quick but it is two winters and now complaint.
    I haven't been on the road that last TWO winters but before that
    and was not guaranteed a mishap when on my skinny two wheel. "Farrell said he spent $9 for a new tube last week" and what is
    the cost savings for recycling? Bet the boy couldn't recycle
    on his cycle?
  12. Riamh
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    Riamh - February 04, 2012 4:57 pm
    Datazz said: "NOT to mention the fact that there is glass everywhere. Plows used by the CITY shoot the glass shards everywhere, including the sidewalks. My front yard has a ton of glass spread all over the place, if my kids were outside playing in the front yard, which they would have the other day when it was really warm, i would have had to pick out shards of glass the size of my thumbnail from their small tender feet. I am VERY displeased with the way this city manages OUR roads, i pay taxes to enjoy this public setting, not to pay more money to fix things the CITY messed up, such as a 300 dollar tire on my vehicle. "

    First off, folks, this recycled glass is no more dangerous to your tires than any of the other billion pebbles your tires may encounter. If you're getting flats from it, stop running them until the rubber is paper thin.

    ewarnerusa - I sure wish you were the rule, rather than the exception. You seem to be a responsible bicyclist, most in this area are not. I'd be glad to share the road with the likes of you.

    Datazz your communication skills leave much to be desired. It took me nearly 10 minutes to decipher what you are babbling about.

    you buy expensive tires for your bike, tear them up by riding like a fool, and then you have the audacity to complain the city is ruining your tires? I think it probably has much more to do with how you ride than the amount of debris on the road.
    So far, you aren't exactly looking like the sharpest tool in the shed.

    I understand the desire for a thrill, I ride too, but do you think riding like an idiot, slipping and sliding around is the right thing to do in city traffic? You must be awfully trusting of other drivers. You're looking even less like a mensa scholar with each statement you made.

    Then.. in this next brilliant stroke, you told us that you allow your kids to play in a yard full of broken glass, in winter time with no shoes on, and again blame the city when you have to pick glass out of their feet... Wow, that's very intelliigent. I sure hope your kids are up on their tetanus shots, or you'd be even MORE derelict in your duty to protect them.



  13. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - February 04, 2012 1:30 pm
    Datazz, the way that you write I'd have say I have more brains in my little finger then you have in your entire body. Obviously since my $150 tires haven't had an issue that you've had with tires twice that much. And a ton of glass in your lawn? 2000 lbs of glass huh, right in your lawn. LMAO. Between the two of us I'd say that makes you the city fool. But then I'm not sure why I'm waisting my time responding to someone who appears to be just a punk.
  14. whatif
    Report Abuse
    whatif - February 04, 2012 12:13 pm
    Datazz said: "NOT to mention the fact that there is glass everywhere. Plows used by the CITY shoot the glass shards everywhere, including the sidewalks. My front yard has a ton of glass spread all over the place, if my kids were outside playing in the front yard, which they would have the other day when it was really warm, i would have had to pick out shards of glass the size of my thumbnail from their small tender feet. I am VERY displeased with the way this city manages OUR roads, i pay taxes to enjoy this public setting, not to pay more money to fix things the CITY messed up, such as a 300 dollar tire on my vehicle. "

    Have you seen how big the glass is? The size of thumb nails? Get real. I am fine with how the city is managing OUR roads. Your $300 tire got a flat due to the glass? Man you must buy some horrible tires then, and getting ripped off pretty hard for $300.

    "YOU are not the brightest person this country has produced are you?" "What now fool. " Your quotes are certainly true for yourself.
  15. mark1228
    Report Abuse
    mark1228 - February 03, 2012 5:01 pm
    ewarnerusa said: "I had a good idea of what the IR comments would say before I read them. Especially the ol' "bikers don't pay taxes so they shouldn't use the roads." Stupid. But to answer the question, I have noticed the glass on the road these days and didn't know it was part of a recycling program. I think it is sound logic and a good program that would be harmless to vehicle tires. But bike tires are much thinner and more delicate. Even as a year round bike commuter myself, I think road maintenance should prioritize vehicles. If the road debris is hard on your bike tires, then the cyclist needs to invest in tougher tires. There are products out there to help cope. Using a tubeless setup with sealant comes to mind. I do believe and advocate sharing the road, but a cyclist who thinks a vehicle won't win in any situation is going to get killed. You need to ride like you are invisible and like drivers are blind, your life depends on it. "

    This is a cyclist with common sense! Thank you. I wish I knew you so I could give you as much courtesy as possible while you on your bike. SOME cyclists act like they own the road and give cyclists a bad name, but my guess is you are courteous to drivers as well.
  16. ewarnerusa
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    ewarnerusa - February 03, 2012 4:40 pm
    dietz,
    I use studded bike tires. They have carbide studs just like vehicle studded tires and they work incredible. While I can't speak for all the other winter bike commuters, I do know that studded tires are pretty common these days for those of us who choose to be year-round bike commuters.
    While a solid rubber tire would completely eliminate flats, they would be very heavy and I suspect not provide much traction because they would be inflexible. The tubeless tires I was referring to are a air-filled just like a vehicle tire and the use of flat-protection sealant allows for most minor punctures to be instantly sealed without missing a beat. This technology for bike tires has been around for a decade or so now.
  17. obsethed
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    obsethed - February 03, 2012 3:28 pm
    Like said before...bicyclists = recyclist...better pick your battles. We are struggling enough to recycle plastic...you wanna see glass disappear too! Out-sources are the only way to keep recycling possible. This is the out-source available if you wanna pay to throw glass away and this means landfilling step up and pay the fee!!
  18. Datazz
    Report Abuse
    Datazz - February 03, 2012 2:41 pm
    NOT to mention the fact that there is glass everywhere. Plows used by the CITY shoot the glass shards everywhere, including the sidewalks. My front yard has a ton of glass spread all over the place, if my kids were outside playing in the front yard, which they would have the other day when it was really warm, i would have had to pick out shards of glass the size of my thumbnail from their small tender feet. I am VERY displeased with the way this city manages OUR roads, i pay taxes to enjoy this public setting, not to pay more money to fix things the CITY messed up, such as a 300 dollar tire on my vehicle.
  19. Datazz
    Report Abuse
    Datazz - February 03, 2012 2:35 pm
    dietz1963 said: "Seriously, given the icy road conditions just for normal vehicles, why ride a bike under these conditions? I wouldn't, fairly easy to slip and fall on a bike under these conditions and that aside, if a vehicle slips out of control toward the cyclist it probably wouldn't go well.What sort of bike tires are people running? I doubt seriously they are tires for the conditions. If someone is running with knobby tires or studded tires that are made for snow/ice, I seriously doubt they'll blow. erwarnerusa already talked about this somewhat, they make a solid, airless, all terrain bicycle tire. Thats what I would run with if I were going to ride in the winter time. Its a pretty penny to buy but you save $$ in the long term.From what I've seen, a lot of these folks are riding bikes built for speed with thin tires. Anyone that rides bikes will tell you, it doesn't take much to puncture these tires. Sharp piece of ice will do it. In fact, hit a curb too hard with these type tires and tire can blow.My advise to riders, winterize your bike. Buy decent tires. And do us all a favor, wear a reflectorized vest, a helmet and ensure you have good reflectorization on your bike as well decent lights front and back so drivers can see you at a distance verse a few feet. Use hand signals so we know which way you are going to go. Don't "assume" we can see you, make every effort to ensure we can."

    YOU are not the brightest person this country has produced are you? The best time to take a super motard on the road is when there is snow and ice out there. Its fun as hell, maybe before you begin saying stupid shit about something you have no idea about go and do some research. I would rather hear the opinion of a chicken than hear yours. never ever talk again. Unless you raise your hand and i call on you. What now fool.
  20. 810
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    810 - February 03, 2012 2:29 pm
    ...so my suggestion would be to first find out if it really is causing a problem for bicycle tires on the city streets, and if it is, then consider a win-win situation for all perspectives, such as applying the glass only to roadways that bicyclists don't or rarely use...like I-15 and maybe some other higher speed roadways
  21. 810
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    810 - February 03, 2012 2:19 pm
    The case made by the city is based on the edges of the glass shards BEFORE the shards were applied to the streets, which is like trying to make a case that an arrowhead can't be sharp because the stone it came from had rounded edges. It should be considered that when glass shards with rounded edges are grinded against rough pavement gain and again by automobile tires, sharp edges may result.
  22. abodox33
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    abodox33 - February 03, 2012 1:56 pm
    As a person who often rides my bike on city streets and highways, and also as a motorist who drives hundreds of miles a week, I understand that the road conditions in the state of Montana are going to cause damage to both my bike, and to my vehicle.

    I understand that if I am going to take the risk to drive through construction projects, or chip seals I may get rock chips, windshield cracks or paint or possibly even paint on my vehicle. I also understand that driving in the winter on these roads that corrosive salt is laid down and could cause damage. I accept these risks because driving is something that I need to do. I ride my bike as an alternative method of travel, mainly because it's good for me also because as a motorist, I spend so much in gas (yes, I pay LOTS of fuel tax).

    I believe that the conversation here should be whether the pulverized glass is as effective as other alternatives. Is the city using salt, brine, CMA, Mag Cloride or another alternative in combination with the pulverized glass? Glass does not melt ice, it merely provides traction to get you going (not nearly as effective once your moving though). I believe that the city should take a good luck at its options and find the safest and most reasonably affordable solution.

    The bottom line is that people will complain no matter what is used. I personally believe that melting the ice is the safest solution for our road ways. It means I have to wash the corrosive salt off of my car on the 40-50 degree days, but it's better than being in the ditch. The best traction for our tires is the road itself.

    Also, for those who think that you can't ride on ice and snow, check out the Ididabike trail race (1000 miles) from Anchorage, AK to Nome, AK done in late February. It's pretty amazing!
    http://www.alaskaultrasport.com/race_info.html
  23. obsethed
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    obsethed - February 03, 2012 1:51 pm
    The City of Helena provides glass recycling for recycling...where the heck do you think they are doing with the glass? Don't be stupid, you want to recycle glass well the city has to have an out-source in order to re-use or recycle the glass. If no out-source then bye-bye glass recycling and then we can be just like Missoula and Bozeman who have no glass recycling at this current time! Choose your battles! Aren't most you cyclists environmentally conscious and promote recycling...I guess I'm just a little confused. Psst...you can rub this glass in your hands, really rub hard too!
  24. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - February 03, 2012 12:16 pm
    I was just remembering when I was a kid and they didn't have the tires for bikes they do now (if they did, I couldn't have afforded them anyway). I lined the inside of the tire with a few layers of aluminum foil. I'd still get a flat every once and a great while, but not as much as I did before I used the foil.
  25. dietz1963
    Report Abuse
    dietz1963 - February 03, 2012 12:10 pm
    Seriously, given the icy road conditions just for normal vehicles, why ride a bike under these conditions? I wouldn't, fairly easy to slip and fall on a bike under these conditions and that aside, if a vehicle slips out of control toward the cyclist it probably wouldn't go well.

    What sort of bike tires are people running? I doubt seriously they are tires for the conditions. If someone is running with knobby tires or studded tires that are made for snow/ice, I seriously doubt they'll blow. erwarnerusa already talked about this somewhat, they make a solid, airless, all terrain bicycle tire. Thats what I would run with if I were going to ride in the winter time. Its a pretty penny to buy but you save $$ in the long term.

    From what I've seen, a lot of these folks are riding bikes built for speed with thin tires. Anyone that rides bikes will tell you, it doesn't take much to puncture these tires. Sharp piece of ice will do it. In fact, hit a curb too hard with these type tires and tire can blow.

    My advise to riders, winterize your bike. Buy decent tires. And do us all a favor, wear a reflectorized vest, a helmet and ensure you have good reflectorization on your bike as well decent lights front and back so drivers can see you at a distance verse a few feet. Use hand signals so we know which way you are going to go. Don't "assume" we can see you, make every effort to ensure we can.
  26. Limber
    Report Abuse
    Limber - February 03, 2012 10:55 am
    Why is Helena hostile to byciclists? Energy independence, physical fitness, environmentally friendly, resource conserving, do not do damage to roadways like heavy trucks, far less likely to do property damage or cause injuries in collisions. The only real downside I see is to the selfish people who are inconvenienced by occasionally having to slow down and wait every once in awhile. Rather than be so insensed, and indignant, try a little appreciation. For my part, I think it is misguided envy, from people who are lazy, and lack ambition. --I am physically unable to bycicle, and have a legitimate reason to envy. But, I am not hostile, rather I am tolerant and appreciative. The riders in the article seemed not to be blaming anyone, so much as they are just making the best of a very bike unfriendly environment, and enduring extra inconvenience as another occupational hazard of being a dedicated cyclist.
  27. steeline
    Report Abuse
    steeline - February 03, 2012 10:53 am
    I am not claiming to be a smart ---s here but if it were me I wouldn't ride a bike on snowy days. I don't even go out in my Chev 3/4 ton pickup on snowy days for obvious reasons. And these people vote. God help America.
  28. ewarnerusa
    Report Abuse
    ewarnerusa - February 03, 2012 10:48 am
    I had a good idea of what the IR comments would say before I read them. Especially the ol' "bikers don't pay taxes so they shouldn't use the roads." Stupid. But to answer the question, I have noticed the glass on the road these days and didn't know it was part of a recycling program. I think it is sound logic and a good program that would be harmless to vehicle tires. But bike tires are much thinner and more delicate. Even as a year round bike commuter myself, I think road maintenance should prioritize vehicles. If the road debris is hard on your bike tires, then the cyclist needs to invest in tougher tires. There are products out there to help cope. Using a tubeless setup with sealant comes to mind. I do believe and advocate sharing the road, but a cyclist who thinks a vehicle won't win in any situation is going to get killed. You need to ride like you are invisible and like drivers are blind, your life depends on it.
  29. abodox33
    Report Abuse
    abodox33 - February 03, 2012 10:20 am
    helenashome said: Bicycles don't pay road or fueltax anyway. They use the roads (and sidewalks) for free.

    You are correct, bikes don't pay taxes! I can think of many other inanimate objects that don't pay taxes too!
  30. Curmudgeon
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    Curmudgeon - February 03, 2012 9:47 am
    jbtkr said: "The city's glass popping bike tires is absurd! Just another attempt for them to control the roadways."

    In any debate, some folks try the oldest trick in the book, which is to deflect the argument from its issues, and demonize and question the opponent's motives. Totally dishonest, but sometimes effective in persuading non-thinkers.

    Thus we see the accusation that bicyclists don't REALLY care about popped tires, no, what they REALLY want is "...to control the roadways...", because they are bad people.

    By the way, OUTLAW, "with all the snow, ice, slippery and poor conditions...", motorists shouldn't be allowed on the streets either. Agreed?

    And HELENASHOME, I don't own a car. I use the sidewalks for free...does that mean I'm cheating the taxpayers?
  31. whatif
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    whatif - February 03, 2012 9:31 am
    The big L

    "City Manager Ron Alles said the city went through the Department of Environmental Quality to make sure the pulverized glass was environmentally sound, and it was approved. He said the small pieces of glass don’t have sharp edges and don’t cut tires, though the sparkly bits are very evident on the roads. He said as a demonstration, he’s grabbed a handful of the glass and rubbed it between his hands to show its harmlessness."

    "He pointed out that glass is inert and essentially no different than dirt or sand, and it doesn’t cause toxicity in the environment."

    I am guessing here, but I would bet it is no different then eating a rock the same size.
  32. MontanaLady
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    MontanaLady - February 03, 2012 9:09 am
    Are you kidding me..."Bicycles don't pay road or fueltax anyway". Bicycles don't drive themself. There are PEOPLE on those bikes that pay taxes. Bikes do not belong on the sidewalks...that is why they are called a walk. There isn't any need for glass to be used on the roadways anyway.
  33. The Big L
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    The Big L - February 03, 2012 8:38 am
    This is a question more than a comment. So they are using crushed glass, which the plows then push on to our sidewalks. IF this is then brought into our homes from our shoes, is it dangerous for our pets and children who may eat it?

    BTW helenashome - you are assuming that people that ride bicycles only ride bicycles.
  34. MTCITY
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    MTCITY - February 03, 2012 7:49 am
    Yep. Lets stop the glass recycling so that the whining bikers will be happy. Is Helena turning into Missoula?
  35. jbtkr
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    jbtkr - February 03, 2012 7:13 am
    The city's glass popping bike tires is absurd! Just another attempt for them to control the roadways. Lets talk about real issues like the share the road signs on Country Club, Birdseye, ect. With no shoulder on those roads where would you like the car, truck, or semi-truck to go? People on bikes are nothing but a hazard out there and are going to get someone killed! Stay on the bike paths and sidewalks where you belong.
  36. helenashome
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    helenashome - February 03, 2012 6:47 am
    Bicycles don't pay road or fueltax anyway. They use the roads (and sidewalks) for free. REMEMBER: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
  37. Outlaw
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    Outlaw - February 03, 2012 6:03 am
    With all the snow, ice, slippery and poor conditions bikes should not be on the roads now anyway. They are getting to be more and more of a hazard to the current condition. If you can see the bike lane lines on the road they should be prohibited at those times, otherwise they take up the actual road lanes.

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