May 5, 2023 - News

Houston's dirty bike lanes broke the city's new sweeper

Photo courtesy of Houston Public Works

Houston's bike lanes are apparently so dirty that they literally broke a brand-new sweeper meant to clean them.

Catch up quick: The city in August purchased its first special narrow sweeper, a ​​Madvac LS175, designed to fit inside the city's bike lanes, sidewalks and pedestrian islands, which standard street sweepers are too wide to clean.

  • Houston residents named it the Space City Sweeper after Houston Public Works held a naming contest.

Driving the news: The Space City Sweeper got through just nine service orders before it met its match in April, according to public works spokesperson Erin Jones.

  • The sweeper encountered heavy debris and "malfunctioned," forcing the city to return it to the manufacturer for repairs.
  • It has since been repaired and is back in service, Jones said.

The latest: The city has adopted a new strategy to have workers pre-sweep heavier debris before the Space City Sweeper rolls through.

The bottom line: Public works says to report clogged bike lanes to Houston 311.

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