The romantic European couples' tradition of signing a love padlock, securing it on a bridge, and tossing the key into the water won't be allowed on the Big Four Bridge in Louisville overlooking the Ohio River between Kentucky and Indiana, officials say.
The custom, which began years ago on the Pont de l'Archevêché in Paris, has been banned by the Waterfront Development Corp., which called the padlocks "unsightly."
"We throw them away — put them in the garbage," Gary Pepper, the waterfront agency’s facilities manager, told the Courier-Journal.com.
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Pepper said his crew has used bolt cutters to remove at least half a dozen padlocks since the Big Four Bridge, which connects Louisville and Jefferson, Ind., opened to pedestrians in February.
Couples have flocked from Rome to Tokyo to Moscow to lock up their feelings in a permanent showing of love.
But the Big Four isn’t the only bridge that has banned them. Chicago officials have also nixed love padlocks from the Michigan Avenue Bridge, according to the Courier-Journal.com.
David Karem, the Waterfront Development Corp executive director, said the love padlock ban isn’t meant to put a damper on romance in the area.
"We think it's wonderful to go up there and propose. It’s a nice romantic spot to go on a date, or to walk along and hold hands," he said. "But there is no reason to put locks on the railings. It tears them up. It is just not an idea that is of interest to us."
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