I've put this page together as a resource to explore the issue and solutions to the problem of broken glass on roads ( especially pertaining to the situation here in Christchurch, New Zealand )December 2008
Glass is a constant threat to cyclists in urban areas. -Apart from causing punctures it also causes cyclists to make unpredictably dangerous avoidance manouvers.
A couple of ideas...
I was out riding at dusk last night along the path that runs between the Christchurch Southern Motorway
and Birmingham Drive which comes out near Addington raceway and I ended up cleaning up the glass
from 8 bottles that had been smashed along the pathway.
I'd recommend the exercise as a great opportunity to give yourself some time to brainstorm the
psychology that lies behind the act and I don't know if cleaning up broken glass is an activity given to
people doing 'Periodic Detention' or 'Community Service', but it would achieve 2 goals.
I believe that a solution is more likely to be found by addressing ( i.e. ridiculing ) the peer
culture that encourages such behaviour.http://www.corrections.govt.nz/community-assistance/community-work-agencies.html
I've just copied in what I wrote on the Spokes forum on the topic earlier
this year. Glass on Christchurch streets
20 August 2007 - 5:01pm.
I ride a lot between Middleton,Addington,Spreydon and around the central city.
I've had more punctures here in a year of infrequent cycling than I had in 10 years in
You can not see how bad the glass on the roads ( and pavements) problem is from a car,
you only realise the extent of the problem when you're on a bike.
I have reached the conclusion that someone in the puncture repair business must be
going out in the dead of night spreading glass on the roads to stimulate business.
Otherwise,-how else would so much glass be getting onto the roads here ?
I have also concluded that the CCC's approach to cleaning it up is not working.
I went to :
and see that the sweeping is very narrowly limited to existing designated cycle lanes,
a lot of the places I'd like to call (03) 941 8666 about aren't even on the sweeper's
Pie in the sky perhaps but where I was living in Japan , residents and businesses are/feel
obliged to keep the road and footpath outside their place clean.
Ridiculing the bottle-bombing by rugby heads (as in my short time here I have actually
witnessed twice) would help, as would assigning glass sweeping as a community service
activity for anyone convicted.
The CCC needs to develop its fleet of street sweepers and to have them working every
night to cover ALL of the streets in the city.
There is an opportunity at this time to submit on this issue through the
In Paris, France they were ( until 2002) using motorcycle mounted vacuum cleaners called 'motocrottes' to suck up the dog poo. Perhaps they could be an effective device for cleaning up broken glass with their greater mobility ?
People who have been assigned Community Service by the Department of Corrections work may be available for cleaning up broken glass.
The Scarab street sweeper sucks and sweeps.