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Photo below taken Memorial Day weekend, 2006 -- decidedly non bicycle-friendly drain grate just installed on Route 20, on the Waltham-Weston border (Hobb's Brook, just below, is the border).

Route 20 between Route 128 and Highland Street in Weston is otherwise one of the nicer stretches of highway to ride a bicycle anywhere in eastern Massachusetts, with  striped shoulders that provide ample room so motorists can overtake bicyclists.

This grate shown replaces the older one waiting to be taken away, which is like all the others in Weston on Route 20 and which doesn't appear to be in condition requiring replacement.  The rounded end of the older grate faced the middle of the road, so the slots were perpendicular to a bicyclist's direction of travel.

The not so great grate

DSCF0088gratesm.jpg (28426 bytes)

Riding over the old grates is "zzzippp" and riding over the newer one is "bambambambam" and if you're unlucky, it will dump you by blowing out a tire, or jarring your hands off the handlebars, or steering the bicycle out from under you.

If the old grate did require replacement, there are plenty of good bicycle-friendly designs available, so how and why was this one chosen? How is it that such a grate is even manufactured?

The replacement of the grate could be a project of the Massachusetts Highway Department, the Town of Weston, the City of Waltham, the private developer who is working in the old quarry site adjacent, accessed by the driveway in the left background of the photo. Who's in charge here?

Excuse me for sounding like an ingrate, but there's an issue of process here, not only one of design. Why should private citizens like me have to micromanage issues like this?