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European 'Love Lock' Tradition Finds Way To Key Bridge

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Love locks on Key Bridge are still relatively sparse compared to counterparts in Europe or even New York City.
Armando Trull/WAMU
Love locks on Key Bridge are still relatively sparse compared to counterparts in Europe or even New York City.

Take a stroll on the key bridge between Georgetown and Rosslyn, Virginia, and you'll notice along the pedestrian steel railings about a dozen or so padlocks: brass, steel, the circular combination ones — red is a popular color for those.

These are "love locks" — a European tradition where lovers attach a lock to a fence or bridge railing to demonstrate their everlasting love. Many are engraved or scrawled in permanent magic marker are messages such as "E&P love forever."

Not everyone is loving this tradition- you've got the haters out there- mostly transportation officials who mutter about bridge integrity and safety and the like. Officials in New York City, for example, have been clamping down, complaining of the costs and hazards of thousands of locks on the Brooklyn Bridge.

So if you want to show your everlasting love, you don't have to go to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice — you can go to the Key Bridge. Just do it before the lock police show up. Or in this case, transportation workers, who will cut out your love lock and throw it away. That's enough to make anyone sigh.


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