WASHINGTON — A tourist attraction in Paris is causing concern among city officials in D.C. who worry that the popular practice of leaving love locks attached to bridges could eventually prove dangerous.
Similar locks have started to show up at the Key Bridge, but they won’t last much longer.
The District Department of Transportation is taking them down Thursday.
“Locks are being removed because we don’t want to establish a precedence where our structures could become polluted with these types of campaigns,” DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders says.
“Also, it could jeopardize the functionality of the railings.”
Sanders says the D.C. locks do not yet pose a safety risk.
Love locks, small padlocks bearing a couple’s name, became popular in recent years thanks to a Parisian tradition of leaving similar locks at the Pont des Arts. But earlier this summer, a chunk of the bridge broke off under the weight of all those locks.
Thousands of couples have latched padlocks to the bridge and thrown their keys into the Seine River as symbols of lasting love, creating what some decry as an eyesore.
Some international cities have outlawed the practice. It is illegal to clamp love locks onto bridges in London and Rome, and Dublin has launched a campaign to dissuade couples from showing their affection via these locks.