Meet PBLS: Charlotte’s first people-powered bike-lane sweeper (WFAE)

People-powered street sweeper

Photo: Zachary Turner

Rain drizzled on the tin roof of The Giddy Goat Coffee Roasters cafe as a group of Charlotte Bike Commuters shuffled in for their weekly meetup, Free Wheelin’ Wednesdays. Gathered around a table, they shared some of the issues bike commuters in the city faced, including safety education, bike lane connectivity and road debris.

“I’d say one of the biggest issues is all the litter just gets thrown into the bike lanes,” said Jim McCarthy.

Ramez Tadros encountered this problem when he moved to Charlotte from Chicago about three years ago. He found himself using the same bike lanes day after day and noticed they were often filled with debris. He crowdfunded a couple thousand dollars and solicited local sponsorships from groups like Birdsong Brewing and Sustain Charlotte to purchase a towable bike lane sweeping prototype from California-based inventor Pierre Lermant.

Listen to the WFAE segment.