Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

Chattanooga’s Custom-Built De-Icer for Protected Bike Lanes Is Adorable

Photo and video: City of Chattanooga.
pfb logo 100x22
false

Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets.

As we wrote the other day, clearing snow and ice from protected bike lanes isn't hard. It just requires some effort.

Fortunately for Chattanooga, Tennessee, that's no problem. This winter, to keep their protected bike lane on Broad Street rideable through the snow, road crews there set up a Kawasaki Mule to trickle just the right amount of brine into the space between curb and planters:

As other cities have discovered, early de-icing treatments can be especially useful on protected bike lanes, because unlike cars, bikes don't tend to splash liquid de-icers away when they pass through. And early de-icing is especially important, because bike tires don't break thin layers of ice as they form. If you don't de-ice a protected bike lane early in a big snow event, the lane could be out of commission for a day or more.

Tony Boyd, deputy director for Chattanooga's operations team, said Wednesday that this was the city's first attempt to create a machine for de-icing bike lanes and it's working well so far.

"That Kawasaki Mule is used downtown to do a lot of our herbicide applications," he said. "We just picked up a polypropalene tank from the co-op and had our shop mount it on a palette so we can take it in and out of the unit when we want to. ... We built a PVC pipe in the shape of an upside-down T and then we just drilled the pipe in a way that it disperses the brine across the lane. That's the way we do it with all our larger trucks too."

Boyd credited street maintenance manager Ricky Colston with the design.

"It works out pretty well," he said.

You can follow The Green Lane Project on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook or sign up for its weekly news digest about protected bike lanes.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

DOT Begins Safety Upgrades for Atlantic Av. But Locals Want More

Some changes are coming for Atlantic, but they're not enough, say street safety advocates.

July 24, 2024

MTA Contractor Scrambles to Refund Fake Charges After OMNY ‘Upgrade’ Goes Awry

Cubic is working to issue refunds to riders improperly charged thanks to the glitch, a spokesman said.

July 24, 2024

Podcast: GOP’s ‘Project 2025’ is ‘Based on a Lot of Ignorance’

What does Transportation for America's Beth Osborne think of the transportation portion of the Heritage Foundation's playbook for a Trump presidency?

July 24, 2024

Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’ Will Cost Area Companies Billions

A new analysis shows what districts will suffer the most from the loss of $12 billion in capital funding.

July 24, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Adams Blames the Victim Edition

Mayor Adams blames pedestrian victims for their own deaths. Plus more news.

July 24, 2024
See all posts