‘Love locks’ to be shorn from Key Bridge on Thursday


Lovers in Washington, D.C., have taken to placing locks on the railings of the Key bridge, like their European counterparts. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

District transportation officials, having taken a look at the spate of love locks that young romantics have been attaching to the Key Bridge, said they would be cut from the span by the end of the day Thursday.

Adopting a trend that has been popular, and problematic, in Paris, New York and other cities, lovers have snapped padlocks bearing their initials and other endearments on the pedestrian railing. In Paris, a section of footbridge railing became so encumbered with the metal tokens that it collapsed last summer.

Fearing such an overload of love here, officials decided to apply the bolt cutters to the few dozen locks that have sprung up – if not open – on the bridge between Georgetown and Rosslyn and a few other public walkways in the city.

D.C. Department of Transportation spokesman Reggie Sanders they hoped to curtail the trend before it reaches Brooklyn Bridge proportions, where workers have removed more than 9,000 locks in recent months.

Locks are being removed because we don’t want to establish a precedence where our structures could become polluted with these types of campaigns.

“We don’t want to establish a [precedent] where our structures could become polluted with these types of campaigns,” Sanders said in an email Thursday. “Also it could jeopardize the functionality of the railings.”

Steve Hendrix came to The Post more than ten years ago from the world of magazine freelancing and has written for just about every page of the paper: Travel, Style, the Magazine, Book World, Foreign, National and, most recently, the Metro section’s Enterprise Team.
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