We Need To Rid Our Bike Lanes Of All Green Waste

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debris-bike-lane

By Darell Dickey

I sit on your Bicycle Advisory Commission, I am a board member of Davis Bicycles!, and I am an active member in the Davis Bike Club. Today I write to you as an individual. I am a daily cyclist, and the father of a school-age cyclist who navigates our city streets on her daily trips to school and after-school activities.

Because the commission message from the BAC and board message from Davis Bicycles! regarding loose green waste pickup seems to have been drowned out by public concerns of decreased convenience, I will voice my personal, concise thought on the subject:

-> We need to rid our bike lanes of all green waste for the safety of our road users. <-

While I have countless photographs of blocked bike lanes, I only offer this one example from my daughter’s route to school. It is on 5th Street, in view of the police station, and was there for six days. This is not the image of a safe and bike-friendly town. And it is not in compliance with our Municipal Code:

35.01.020 – Obstructing street or sidewalk prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to place upon any sidewalk or street or part thereof in the city, or to allow to stand or remain for an unreasonable length of time upon that portion of the sidewalk or street or part thereof within the city immediately abutting, traversing, or existing in front of such person’s real property or premises, any building, fence, vehicle, engine, piece of machinery, merchandise or other article or thing of any nature, including debris such as soil, gravel, tree litter (including leaves, fruit or seeds), moss, grass clippings or other loose or slippery material, which may obstruct the use and enjoyment of the street or sidewalk or which shall be detrimental to the appearance or public safety of the street or sidewalk.

The top priority in the green waste discussion needs to be the safety of our family members, friends and neighbors who choose to take the city up on its “bicycle friendly” promise and status. How bike friendly is a town that endangers its cyclists with blocked bike lanes 24/7/365? If one were to dump a load of green waste in the middle of a travel lane, we would quickly see the definition of “automobile friendly.”

Containerization has emerged as the most effective solution to the loose green waste safety issue. Containerized green waste has proven convenient and financially sound in countless California communities (and containerization can solve the storm drain and composting issues). Containers bind the waste into a defined, easy-to-see space.

Without containerization, we would need a daunting amount of code enforcement to keep our bike lanes clear. Loose green waste piles on the street already violate our municipal code, yet they exist every day of every week without consequence.

Though I have been working both privately and publicly to encourage more compliance of Davis Municipal Code 35.01.020, personal experience has shown me that enforcement alone will not create significant, long-term improvement. We must make it easy for residents and businesses to “do the right thing.” And containerization generally appears to be that way.

The loose/containerization compromise that was recently accepted by council will likely have little effect in cleaning up the bike lanes. At the same time, it will cost us more, and will force people to store a new bin – all in one package deal. Sometimes, as in this case, a compromise that includes all options is not a solution to the problem.

Just as people already ignore our existing municipal code, the tendency going forward will reasonably be to continue dumping waste in the bike lanes at the time landscaping is performed, especially at commercial properties.

Landscapers that maintain yards every week and dump the waste in the bike lane without penalty, will continue to do so. The piles will grow each week until that one time per month when the claw arrives.

We do not have the enforcement capacity to keep everybody in compliance, so there is no reason to expect more compliance with the new policy. Monthly loose-waste pickup only appeases those who value personal convenience over the safety of others.

We are likely to have the same piles in many of the same places. The piles will just be picked up less often. If we remove the monthly loose pickup and associated costs, and instead offer a flat-fee, on-call service, then each property owner will pay for what they “need” and may even find that their biowaste generation is more elastic than is currently assume.

I won’t battle against the two-month seasonal loose pickup at this point. It is the year-round loose piles that should be eliminated in order to clear out bike lanes of loose debris.

The only way I would support the continued rear-round dumping of green waste on our streets, is if the piles were confined to the travel lane of each street – and then only to make a point. Faced with the scenario of green waste piles blocking automobile travel, I would like to hear feedback from the non-cycling residents in regard to the convenience and safety of that policy.

Dumping the waste in the travel lane would be no more in violation of our Municipal code 35.01.020 than what happens today. And the recent adoption of the compromise green waste plan keeps a blind eye turned to our Municipal Code.

We can never make everybody happy. But we CAN make our most vulnerable road users safer. We need to eliminate the loose green waste piles on the street.

This was originally a letter to the city council dated April 15, 2014.  Darell Dickey is a Davis Resident and sits on the Bicycle Advisory Commission as well as Davis Bicycles!

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132 thoughts on “We Need To Rid Our Bike Lanes Of All Green Waste”

    1. darelldd

      You have asked this in the comments sections of several other articles on this same subject. The answer has not changed: There are no statistics kept on bicycle collisions – unless the collision involves an automobile or a pedestrian. Do not mistake the lack of hard data for the lack of a serious issue. Talk to people who cycle regularly in town. Those who commute at night will have at least a horror story for you, and possibly some scars and hospital bills. I don’t know of anybody who’s been killed yet, but I know many who have racked up significant hospital bills, and have missed work from the result of hitting a green pile on the street with their bicycle. Every cyclist I know who rides in town regularly has been endangered by a green waste pile at some point. At the last BAC meeting, a letter from a seriously injured cyclist who hit a pile on Lake Blvd was read publicly. The sustained injuries and financial losses of the individual are sobering. This was an adult cyclist on his regular commute to work on UCD campus.

      If that picture above was on your school-age-daughter’s route to school every day, would you need data to determine that the situation is unsafe? Or is forcing her out into the busy car traffic just an acceptable part of bicycle travel in Davis?

      You don’t think those piles are dangerous because we don’t have data? Strap on your helmet and come ride through town with me on one of these fine evenings. Bring a good light, reflective gear, a rear-view mirror, and be prepared to cycle at travel speeds (vs family ride in the park speeds). I have offered the same invitation to Bob Dunning after each of his published anti-cycling tirades.

    2. Mont Hubbard

      Do you have any data on the safety impacts of the current situation system?

      How about this?

      Mont Hubbard

      From: Andrew Tritt
      Subject: bike accident
      Date: March 28, 2014 2:16:34 PM PDT
      To: ryneches@ucdavis.edu

      On one morning of early March of 2011, at approximately 11:00 am PST, I was riding my bike in the designated bike lane, traveling south, on Lake Blvd in Davis, CA. I commuted to work via this route daily.

      I rode past the Stonegate Country Club, a place where people frequently exercise and play with their dogs. It was then that a dog started barking at me. Startled, I looked toward the direction of the dog. At this same time, I was traveling around a slight bend in the road, for the road slightly curves to the right at this point. When I returned my sight to the road in front of me, I saw a large pile of green waste that consisted of lawn trimmings, dirt, and other yard waste. I immediately engaged my breaks; however, because I was traveling at considerable speed, I was unable to slow down in time to prevent colliding with the pile of green waste. The pile of green waste was dense enough such that my bicycle stopped completely, and, as a result, I was unseated and ejected over my handle bars onto the pavement.

      My forearms made first contact with the pavement. As this happened my, body remained in a downward and forward motion, resulting in my chin and left side of my face, as well as my knees, to hit the pavement. After coming to a stop, I stood up, and was unable to bend either of my arms. The woman, whose dog was barking, saw the accident, and immediately ran to my assistance. She retrieved my bike and helped me walk back to my apartment, which was nearby at Lakeshore Apartments at 1275 Lake Blvd, Davis, CA.

      After arriving at home around 11:05 am PST, my sister, Allison Tritt, drove me to emergency room at Sutter Hospital, located at 2000 Sutter Pl, Davis, CA. At the emergency room, I was treated for a laceration on my chin, an incomplete fracture at the proximal end of my left radius, sprains to both my left and right wrists, and numerous abrasions on the rest of my body, including both of my knees, both of my elbows and my face. The laceration on my chin was treated with five surgical sutures, which had to be removed roughly 10 days later, requiring me to visit my primary care physician. The fracture to my radius, which was not treatable with an orthopedic cast, was immobilized in a sling. The sprains to both of my wrists were treated by immobilizing with orthotic wrist braces.

      At the time of the accident, I was employed by the UC Davis Genome Center, where my occupation required me to use a keyboard, a task that requires mobility in elbows and wrists. As a result of this accident, my injuries left my wrists immobile, and I was not able to work for 7 days. When I returned to work, I had limited mobility in my wrists for roughly 3 weeks following, making work difficult. Because of my injuries, my wrists were only able to bear minimal weight. As I was unable to ride a bicycle for 6 weeks following the accident or any other activity that required my wrists to bear weight. Furthermore, the limited mobility of my wrists and elbows affected my ability to conduct common household activities such as cleaning and cooking, as well as basic hygienic tasks such as brushing my teeth and bathing.

      In addition to the inconveniences placed my daily life, I had to pay for medical expenses that totaled roughly $100.

      I thoroughly believe that if the pile of green waste was not located in the bike lane, I would have not been in this accident.

      Andrew Tritt
      986 55th St
      Oakland, CA 94608
      (608) 438 – 0386
      andrew.j.tritt@gmail.com

  1. Tia Will

    “We do not have the enforcement capacity to keep everybody in compliance, so there is no reason to expect more compliance with the new policy. Monthly loose-waste pickup only appeases those who value personal convenience over the safety of others.”

    Darrel has this right in more ways than one. Leaving piles of waste, “green” or not, in the bicycle lane , or simply in front of one’s home or business values personal convenience of a specific group of citizens over all others.
    1. Adults over children and adolescents. Those over 16 are the only ones allowed to drive cars. Blocking bike
    but not car lanes clearly favors this group at a time when we state as a community that we are trying to
    encourage our children to ride their bikes and then place obstacles in their way.
    2. Automobile users over users of other means of transportation. As Darrel rightfully points out, this would
    likely be unacceptable if it were the automobile lanes that were blocked.
    3. Home and business owners over other members of the community, There are adverse effects of curbside
    “green” waste disposal beyond those related to bike use. In residential areas, these piles limit access to
    parking for other members of the neighborhood and their visitors. And finally, they are unsightly. Whatever
    gave us the idea that it is ok to leave piles of our refuse curbside for others to have to negotiate around
    or see on a regular basis ? For a potentially a month at a time ? Really ?

    To me this is a prime example of individual’s selfishness causing a need for “government”, in this case the city, to have to step in with regulations. Obviously, if everyone stored their refuse on their own property until time for pickup, or arranged for pickup and disposal themselves, their would be no need for city intervention at all. So how about those of you who opposed the more rigorous containerization putting pressure on the members of the community who are creating this issue in the first place to deal with their own mess rather than pressuring the city to allow the mess to continue ?

    1. darelldd

      Thank you Tia. My letter published above was written to all City Council members, and thus could not pack in all the details I wanted. Thank you for fleshing out more of the issue. Note that we already have the regulations against this (quoted in my letter) – What the selfishness is requiring is an inordinate amount of enforcement time that should not be squandered on things like this that are so easy to self-police in our community.

      You know we have a tricky problem when some of our residents (including my neighbor) imply that there’s no real need to do anything because there is no hard data proving the danger.

  2. South of Davis

    Mr. Toad wrote:

    > Do you have any data on the safety impacts
    > of the current situation system?

    I don’t have any “data” but as some who spends a lot of time in bike lanes I have seen a lot of “close calls” where people (usually kids) swerve in to traffic to avoid the piles in the bike lanes and are almost hit by a car.

    I have lived all over the state and everyone else but the people of Davis seem to be OK with bins for yard waste. I know for a fact that gardeners in the region use Davis as a (literal) “dumping ground” for yard waste (why go to the dump and pay when you can dump on Davis streets for FREE).

    With budget cuts coming who (besides the driver of the “claw”) thinks it is a good idea to send TWO guys in TWO vehicles (burning TWICE as much diesel and pumping out TWICE as much carbon) taking TWICE as long as ONE guy and ONE truck in we had green bins.

    1. darelldd

      I hadn’t even considered how easy it would be for a landscaper to freely dump their waste on Davis streets after servicing commercial properties in other towns. Sadly, this make sense as I often see automobile-sized piles in areas that cannot generate that much bio mass.

      Yes, our new policy will cost everybody more, and STILL allows endless loose green waste piles on the street. Amazing.

  3. Mr. Toad

    Yesterday I had three young people roll through a stop sign make a right turn in front of me. Since they were riding three abreast and not paying attention and a car was coming through the opposite direction I had to brake and barely avoided hitting one of them.

    Recently I saw a guy with a kid in a bike trailer turn early to avoid and run a stop sign and a car ending up on the wrong side of the street in the lane facing traffic and wondered about the behavior he was modeling for his kid.

    On any evening you can go out and observe about one in three bikes without lights. On one recent night not only did I have difficulty seeing one such person but that person made no attempt to ride defensively. That person was lucky I got a glimpse before he cut me off. We need enforcement alright but its not the type the author suggests.

    I do agree with two points the author makes. Monthly green waste pick up from the street will make things worse and we need enforcement for impeding traffic when piles completely block marked bike lanes. On my street there is a parking lane and then a bike lane. It is a main bike thoroughfare. There is no reason for debris to either be containerized or block the bike lane. There is plenty of room for everyone if people behave appropriately. Still I’d like some data that is not anecdotal on the safety issue as I remain unconvinced this is the major problem the bike advocates claim.

    1. darelldd

      You insist on hard evidence of the dangers of green waste in the bike lane, then offer up anecdotal evidence that cyclists need to be reigned in. I understand that cyclists break laws and endanger others. So do automobile drivers. That is another battle for another day. This is about allowing our most vulnerable road users the use of the lanes that we have painstakingly created for them.

      How would you feel about green waste if it were regularly piled in the middle of the travel lane, hundreds of places in town, every day of every week?

      1. Michelle Millet

        How would you feel about green waste if it were regularly piled in the middle of the travel lane, hundreds of places in town, every day of every week?

        Do you have any data on the safety impacts of allowing this practice? Until you can prove that this is not a safe practice I think we should start implementing it.

        1. darelldd

          Sadly, no data…

          When you realize that it is no more and no less a violation of our muni code to dump waste directly in the middle of the traffic lane, than it is to dump it into the bike lane, it sort of puts things into perspective doesn’t it? About the respect that each mode of transportation receives? In fact when a branch or something else does fall in the traffic lane, it is *immediately* pushed off into the…. wait for it… bike lane.

    2. South of Davis

      Mr Toad wrote:

      > Yesterday I had three young people roll through a stop sign

      It is not just young people on bikes doing “roll through” aka “California stops”. Not long ago I was talking to a friend at a corner in Old North Davis. We were laughing as some cars barely slowed at all for the stop signs. After we started to look to see if any cars came to a “complete stop” more than 50 cars passed the intersection (4 way stop) without even one (some did come close) making a “complete” (wheels stopped moving) stop.

      1. darelldd

        [levity]
        Cars get a free pass. They have an innate right to the road. They’re big. They’re expensive. They’ve fast and they’re often quite shiny. And they’re driven by important people who need to get places. Cyclists, on the other hand, must earn this right to the road by obeying all law at all times as they go about their care-free lives with no meaningful destination in mind. And until all cyclists follow all those laws, it’s only prudent to teach cyclists a lesson by placing random piles of trash in their lanes. If the pesky muni code starts getting enforced, at least we can keep bike theft levels high enough to keep the cyclists on their toes.
        [/levity]

    3. Alan Miller

      The argument that bikes violate laws and therefore no safety improvements should be made is inane. I as a bicyclist despise bicyclists that behave in such a manner as well. I could put forth the argument that downtown should be shut off from all cars and made into a car-free mall because of (site any of multiple examples of cars violating the law and/or almost running into pedestrians and bicycles that I have seen). Makes as much sense.

  4. Michelle Millet

    Thanks Darell. Our current practice of allowing people to place waste in the street at any time does not seem reasonable. There are ordinances regulating how soon before pick-up waste receptacles can be placed in the street and how soon after pick-up they need to be removed from the street. I don’t understand why similar rules don’t apply to green waste.

    If we move ahead with system laid out by council I would urge them to pass an ordinance that states that green waste, like trash and recycling, can only be put out the night before pick-up.

    I hope that people will also be urged to use their container first and only place waste in the street after the container is full.

    While the method adopted by council is not perfect, I am hopeful that it is just the first step in the right direction.

    1. darelldd

      Thanks, Michelle –
      You are correct that we have no time limit for the green waste piles – at least nothing beyond the “reasonable time” language in the Municipal Code that I quoted. But even if we DID have a time limit spelled out in the code, nothing would be different. Just as it won’t be different with the new hybrid containerization plan that’s been adopted. It is already illegal to block the bike lanes for even a minute, yet it happens every day of the year. Green waste simply gets tossed into the street when it is generated. Containerization will help that – just as it does with garbage and recyclables. But as long as we still allow loose pile pickup, we will have those piles out there 24/7/365.

      I have the same hope that the new policy adopted by council will lead to better things. But I still don’t understand council’s willingness to sacrifice safety for landscaping convenience.

      We have no enforcement today. The new plan requires far more enforcement to be of any help to our road users. I’m not holding my breath.

  5. Tia Will

    Mr. Toad

    I agree with you that safety data on this issue would be useful. However, it is not just the bike advocates that believe that containerization is superior to our historical or current plan.

    I have a question for you. Other than the fact that this is historically how green waste has been handled in Davis, what , in your mind makes the disposal of “green” waste different from that of any other waste ?
    Why not pile our trash or recyclables in piles on the street to await city pick up ? As long as they were weighted down so as not to blow around, what would be the difference ? I certainly am not advocating this but then I am also a proponent of each individual taking responsibility for the containment and or prompt removal of their own waste rather than using the city streets as their dumping ground regardless of the nature of the waste.

      1. Michelle Millet

        A lot of trash isn’t food related and thus will not attract rats. Should we just be able to dump that in the street when we are finished with it?

          1. Michelle Millet

            I don’t count it as trash unless I put it into the garbage can. Why should I have to the suffer the inconvenience of storing a garbage can. I just throw anything we don’t want into the street whenever I’m finished with it.

      2. darelldd

        Mr. Toad, do you have data on that sanitation difference? Specific to Davis rats and Davis garbage?

        See how this whole “show me the data instead of the anecdote” thing cuts both ways? Some things in life are so obvious that data is not needed. That it is dangerous for school kids to be forced into the path of speeding 6,000 pound automobiles is one of them.

        I realize that you don’t agree with containerization. But hanging your argument on the lack of convincing data for piles being a danger for cyclists is running thin.

      3. darelldd

        >> There is a sanitation difference. <<

        Super easy fix! The food waste now goes in the green bin (or your back yard compost pile). So the REST of our sanitary garbage can then be dumped on the street. Rinsed recyclables too. I can think of all kinds of things I could dump on the street that wouldn't attract rats. And it would sure be convenient for me every time I get a garage-clean-out urge.

  6. Tia Will

    Michelle

    “If we move ahead with system laid out by council I would urge them to pass an ordinance that states that green waste, like trash and recycling, can only be put out the night before pick-up.”

    Absolutely agree with you on this. I see no reason that there should be “special dispensation” for “green waste”
    as opposed to other forms of refuse.

  7. Don Shor

    Vigilante enforcement: digital picture of trash pile, digital picture of address, emailed to a city address, generating an automatic $100 penalty mailed to the property owner of record. No need to verify; just mail it out. The owner can contest it if they feel it was unwarranted.

    1. Mr. Toad

      Here we go again turning neighbor against neighbor. Like the smoke ordinance proposal where anyone living within three hundred feet of your home could get you a citation this is a bad idea and unenforceable.

      1. Tia Will

        Well Mr. Toad, I see piling your waste on the street in my neighborhood as a “neighbor against neighbor action”. What makes Don’s “vigilante enforcement” any more egregious than neighbor limiting another’s use or enjoyment of a public resource, the street ?

      2. Don Shor

        You take a picture, you send it in. The city isn’t adequately staffed to enforce the laws on the books. It is, in fact, very enforceable. Picture shows pile and house, separate picture shows address. Letter gets sent. How do you propose enforcing the existing law?

        1. Mr. Toad

          Have parking enforcement do it if you must. Problem is if your gardener comes on a day that isn’t right before pick up you are criminalized.

          But let us cut to the chase and get down to the real issue, at least for me. For myself and many other older residents trying to age in place picking it up and putting it in a bin is a problem. Its simply physically hard. Most of it the gardeners can do and I’m lucky enough to be able to afford one, although they will probably charge more, but sometimes I’m going to be stuck with tree limbs and other material that is too hard to handle. I think this is what the council was trying to do with the once a month thing. Most of it goes in the bin but if something is a problem you are not a violator for being old or handicapped and why its hard to enforce the day before thing if your gardener comes on the wrong day. What I see when I watch the council and listen to the bike advocates or the mayor is healthy people demanding things that are simple for them but difficult for certain classes of people without any desire for accommodating the needs of their neighbors. If you look at who is opposed to containerization my guess is its older residents who are just trying to stay in their homes and keep up with their yards. Find a way to accommodate seniors and the disabled and you have solved the problem and you can move forward but imposing this on people without consideration of their special needs in a one size fits all manner is going to continue to be a struggle.

          1. Don Shor

            Have parking enforcement do it if you must.

            That is so far beyond impractical that I conclude that you don’t actually want to enforce this.

          2. Mr. Toad

            One way to do it is have the city issue exemptions to seniors or people with health issues. Then DWR could have the addresses on file and send a truck around. This would reduce most of the problem while being sensitive to the people who want to live out their lives here in flatland.

          3. hpierce

            Yeah… that would work… probably would require that the claw and the receiving truck would have to run the same routes as they currently do.

          4. South of Davis

            Toad wrote:

            > But let us cut to the chase and get down to the real issue,
            > at least for me. For myself and many other older residents
            > trying to age in place picking it up and putting it in a bin is
            > a problem.

            It would take less than 15 minutes to put a pile of stuff in a bin ($8 a month to a kid on your street at the current minimum wage or $15 if Bernie gets the signatures and Davis votes to have the highest minimum wage in the nation). As a teacher Toad could make a deal where he could give a neighbor kid study tips if he fills the bin for him.

          5. darelldd

            You make it sound as if there may be an easy solution for the folks who can’t easily lift items into the bin. Hmmm. I think you’re onto something here!

            Indeed… if lifting items into a bin is the biggest hurdle people face as they “age in place” then we’re in pretty good shape.

          6. South of Davis

            dareldd wrote:

            > You make it sound as if there may be an easy
            > solution for the folks who can’t easily lift items
            > into the bin.

            There are a small number of people in Davis that would not help a frail elderly school teacher neighbor load their bin for FREE…

          7. darelldd

            You are again asking for convenience at the expense of the safety of our road users. Do you have data that shows that it is hard for old people in Davis to lift things? You are asking me to pay for your convenience – with my safety and with my money. The whole town should not be required to pay for green waste pickup that not everybody needs. Yet that is exactly what we’re doing. And you are doing it with an exceedingly weak argument. My 80-year-old mother has had containerization for 25 years, and can’t imagine wanting it any other way. She can roll the cart around the yard as she goes, or use a small bin that she empties into the big one. Then, instead of hauling all of her stuff in countless trips to the curb (can old people do that? The same ones who can’t lift into the bin?), she rolls the can out there and is done with it. When she has large piles to haul, she budgets for it, or gets help from her neighbors, and has it taken care of. Good lord. This is not rocket science. My mother has just informed me that she’d like to meet you, and talk some sense into you. Maybe we can tie that into our ride around town at some point. She, by the way, is managing to age in place without asking to throw her waste in the way of others.

            As I get older, I no longer trust myself to get up to my gutters to clean them. I no longer trust myself to climb in my trees to prune them. I can’t clean my outside windows. Should all residents of Davis pay to clean my gutters, trim my trees and wash my windows because I have lost the ability to do these things myself? I either ignore them, or I find somebody who’s willing to do the work for me. It’s my choice. At some point, we all get too old to perform certain tasks. If we all agree to socialize everything, that’s a whole ‘nuther conversation. Today we generally are expected to take responsibility for our choices – like the size and maintenance requirements of our yards.

            It is your choice to age in place. And I support you – right up until your choice endangers me, my family and my friends.

          8. darelldd

            Luck… plus a lifetime of lifting yard waste.

            She also plays competitive tennis. Sadly, she hasn’t ridden a bike in 30 years, and holds all cyclists in disdain since they “slow her down” on the road, yet are “too fast” on the fire roads she walks.

          9. Tia Will

            Mr. Toad

            I speak as a non athletic ( although not disabled ) senior. I also oppose free standing piles of any kind of waste in our streets.

            While this is not based on data, I have a lot of personal observation having lived in cities in 4 different states, including eight different cities in California. Davis is the only one of these locations that allows any kind of refuse storage on the public streets. Universally elsewhere it is the responsibility of the homeowner or business owner to store their refuse on their own property until time for pick up of the designated containers. If seniors and the disabled can age in place and survive in all of these other communities, I honestly believe that we have the capability to make that happen here as well.

          10. Barack Palin

            I have to laugh when some want us to be like other communities when it fits their agenda, but when they have another pet cause they’ll say Davis needs to be at the forefront and a leader. An example of this is how many other communities have $15/hour minimum wage and get along just fine, but we have local activists that want Davis to be a leader on that.

          11. darelldd

            As long as those local advocates don’t block our bike lanes with their $15, then they can happily go about their business.

            My agenda: Bring Davis’ waste pickup policies up to the level of other civilized cities, and protect our most vulnerable road users.

          12. Frankly

            You got that right. Then the same people throw a fit demanding they are completely intellectually objective and non-biased

      3. darelldd

        Toad – if there were a huge pile of branches obstructing car travel, would it not seem wise to report it and have it removed? (even if we lack data that shows branches in the roadway are a danger to drivers?) If one of your neighbors hopped into her car in intoxicated – would it not be your moral duty to report this?

        This is not neighbor against neighbor. It is community against public endangerment and visual (and often olfactory) blight. There is already a process in place for what Don is proposing here. With a picture, a brief description of the problem and the location, a code enforcement representative can remedy the problem. Email those notes to: PoliceWeb@cityofdavis.org

        And if you wish to invest a bit more time into improving your community, you can sign up to be a volunteer, and have the ability to enforce some of these items directly. Go here, and choose “apply” in the upper right corner. http://goo.gl/AoGS0D

          1. darelldd

            I prefer to have unobstructed travel, and the use of the facilities we all pay for.

            I also prefer to avoid imposing anything on my neighbors, and expect the same of them. But when their waste leaves their property and is deposited on our public streets, this no longer has anything to do with “at their homes.” It is now “in our streets.”

            Please do pile up your green waste as high and wide as you like… at your home. Just don’t put it on our streets.

    2. South of Davis

      Don wrote:

      > Vigilante enforcement: digital picture of trash pile, digital picture of address,
      > emailed to a city address, generating an automatic $100 penalty mailed to
      > the property owner of record.

      From what I understand if you go to the site below and complain on line (or mail a letter and photo):

      http://police.cityofdavis.org/code-compliance

      The city will mail you and the person you complain about “telling” them they will get a fine, but they never actually give the fine (based on talking to Lori Thornton after I complained about something half a dozen times over three years and she said they were trying to “work” with the homeowner to fix the problem and from talking to a friend with a crappy junk car in the dirt next to his driveway that told me he had got at least 10 letters from the city over the past 10+ years and never been fined (no I’m not the one complaining about my friend’s junk car).

      1. Don Shor

        Then another part of the enforcement problem is that the code isn’t being enforced when it is being violated even when staff is aware of the violation. There’s a difference between junk cars on the property and yard debris blocking bike lanes. One’s a nuisance, the other’s a hazard. The fine I’m suggesting would be automatically generated. It would be up to the property owner who receives it to contest it.

  8. Davis Progressive

    the thing that amazes me is that the city is in crisis and yet rob white’s piece had zero comments before me and this one has 25 comments before me. i agree with mr. dickey here, but i’m amazed that this continues to be the hot buttoned issue that it is.

      1. South of Davis

        I wonder if Toad likes the idea of saving money and clearing the bike lanes going back to the “culture and tradition” of old rural California by burning yard waste (like just about everyone did 100 years ago)…

        1. Mr. Toad

          It wasn’t a problem because there weren’t 38 million people here back then. Of course we still let farmers burn and we ought to do more controlled burning to prevent catastrophic fires in the hills.

        1. Frankly

          Good point DP. People seem to run and hide from the more serious and complex issues and then obsess about the trivial. Look at Volleyballgate.

          I think it comes down to understanding the personal impact. The budget problems are abstract at this point. But almost everyone can feel the pain of a new mega container in their tiny yard.

      2. darelldd

        Who’s messing with people in their homes, Toad? I’m only concerned with what hits the public right of way. You seem confused in that distinction. Do whatever you wish on your property. I don’t need to travel there.

      3. Tia Will

        Mr. Toad

        “You mess with people in their homes they are going to react.”

        I guarantee you that I have no difficulty with how much trash, green waste and other detritus you choose to allow to accumulate “in your home”. It is when you choose to place it in a public place that I object.

    1. darelldd

      Sorry, Progressive. I hear and understand your frustration. I can’t fight all battles at all levels all the time. If I didn’t have a kid riding to school every day, my priorities would likely be different. I’d love to solve world hunger, and end war too. But this one small piece is what I can do right now to have a direct, positive effect on the safety of all road users in our lovely town. When we get that solved, I can reassess, and move my effort over to something else.

      If you are not clear as to why I’m so passionate about this issue, I also invite you to travel around town with me on a regular basis to see what it is like. I fully take the responsibility for keeping this fire burning, and I’m not just doing it for sport or to fill my empty days…

      We help solve some or out towns many problems if we cut back on car use. (car parking, road damage, pollution, congestion, angry shoppers avoiding downtown) We don’t choose alternatives to car transportation if those alternatives are not safe and convenient. So in some round-about-way, this really is all tied together in the same priority.

        1. darelldd

          Did you know that each “regular motor vehicles” causes as much road damage individually as would the entire population of Davis riding bikes the same distance?

          As well, we have “regular motor vehicles” that weigh in excess of three tons. People drive these things from their homes to go to work or shop in town.

          Anyway, I assume you see my point even if you wish to dwell on one detail.

        2. Tia Will

          hpierce

          I am well aware that the trucks and buses that as you state cause roadway deterioration. I am also well aware that these conveyances are serving the needs of a number of people at the same time as opposed to our currently predominant pattern of a single individual driving a car, thereby serving only themselves as opposed to providing a public service of which many can avail themselves at the same time( in the case of the bus).

        3. South of Davis

          hpierce wrote:

          > Uh, you do know that trucks (including UPS/Fed-EX) and
          > buses deteriorate roadways at the 90% level, compared
          > to regular motor vehicles?

          Yet ALL vehicles do little damage compared to the weather (streets that almost never see a truck don’t last that much longer)…

  9. hpierce

    The picture used is very convenient to slant the issues related to yard waste in the street.

    It is front of a commercial, multi-family project. Commercial properties pay for “yard-service”. Some single family residents do as well. Why did no one advocate for an ordinance along the lines of “any contract for ‘yard service’ shall provide that the contractor is solely responsible for the removal of all ‘yard-waste’, to be delivered to a bio-mass recycling facility”? The ‘yard service’ contractors are responsible for ~ 70% of the problem yard-waste piles. Some contractors are known to collect the waste produced by their clients, and surreptitiously dump it “off-site” (ex. Anderson Road, near Grande), to save disposal costs. If landscape maintenance contractors had to properly dispose of the waste, those who pay for those services may or may not see an increase in what they are charged, but this was the FIRST step to deal with the issue. This was not done. And so folks went to the “nuclear option”. Just my opinion, based on experience.

    1. darelldd

      I’m not sure what you mean by “slant.” It’s a snapshot of our reality. Some piles are worse than others. That is nowhere near the worst photo in my collection. It just happened to be a handy one that is on my daughter’s school route.

      And I agree that all commercial landscapers should be required to haul the waste away. But unless you catch them in the act of doing it (oh, we’re just putting it there temporarily before loading it into the truck, officer!) we’re right back to an enforcement problem. I have said all along that it is the commercial piles that are the worst offenders. There needs to be different policies for commercial/residential for sure. And that includes the coming containerization policies. Don Shor is correct that forcing commercial locations to take a bin that they don’t want to store, and can’t practically use is just silly.

      I’m not sure that I see trying to keep bike lanes clear as a “nuclear option.” But I admit I’m not even sure what that phrase means.

      1. Michelle Millet

        And I agree that all commercial landscapers should be required to haul the waste away.

        I’m not sure why the city is basically subsidizing this, especially for the large apartment complexes.

      2. hpierce

        The “nuclear option” refers to the proposal to require containerization of waste on ALL streets, whether they have bike lanes or not (and, including low volume streets, like cul-de-sacs), and in addition, requiring containerization on streets with parking and bike lanes (now being “double striped”, at a significant maintenance cost).

        If the containerization was for arterial streets with bike lanes (almost always adjacent to commercial properties), or certain collector streets with bike lanes such as B Street, Eighth Street on some sections (some of which already require containerization), I’d not be arguing the point. I am in COMPLETE agreement with that. However, what is proposed is no yard waste, at any time, on any street, irrespective of traffic (bike or otherwise)

        1. Michelle Millet

          While I think you have a good point regarding the main roads, even on side streets I’d recommend a policy that allows people to only put yard waste out with in a limited amount of time before pick-up.

          1. Matt Williams

            In El Macero our $4.00 per pile Claw Day is Monday and under our CC&Rs no one is allowed to put one of those Claw piles out until Sunday. Some people jump the gun a bit, and begin assembling their piles on Saturday, but 48 hours is the upper limnit on how long a green pile will be out.

          2. hpierce

            We seem to be ‘past’ that from the standpoint of the activists. Zero green waste at any time loose, and maybe a bin, put out the evening before collection (with empty bin removed within 4-8 hours later) would seem, maybe, to be their “compromise” position. For now.

          3. darelldd

            And by “activist” do you mean “resident who wishes to use the roads safely?”

            I’ll ignore the “go to the extreme to make my point” comment, but will ask:

            What is it that you most enjoy about loose waste piles on the street, and what concerns you the most about containers?

        2. darelldd

          > If the containerization was for arterial streets with bike lanes … I’d not be arguing the point. I am in COMPLETE agreement with that. <

          Is there a reason that you are not championing this so that we can avoid the "nuclear option?"

          While I come from a community that containerized all waste, and know that containerization is the more convenient option, I understand the fear of the unknown. Why people would still want the mess and double trucks on their little streets is beyond me. But my emphasis here is only to allow safe passage on all of our roads by all of our road users. How we get there is secondary.

          I can't help but wonder what this discussion would look like if we had been containerizing for the past 25 years, and today were discussion the merits of throwing our waste loose on the street. You may be surprised at what this discussion looks like to anybody who has been containerizing.

          1. hpierce

            Let’s be honest… from most favoring containerization that I’ve spoken to, complete containerization (or, to my way of thinking, removal off-site for commercial properties), that is a “non-starter”, even though I’d vote for/support that in a heartbeat. Hope we implement that basic, immediately.

            Yet most of the ‘activists’ I’ve spoken to on the subject have indicated that it has to be total, everywhere, irrespective of traffic (inc. motor vehicle and bicycle), street width, etc. Do not see the cost/benefit ratio.

            If we had 25 years of 100% containerization, and it wasn’t causing unintended consequences/hardships on the community, you are correct, it might be a different discussion. But we haven’t, and I’m not ready to support waiting 25 years to find out. I am willing to take (and support) the measures I’ve outlined, and consider additional measures in the future, IF WARRANTED. Am not convinced the total ban, anywhere, any time, under any circumstances is appropriate.

            And to paraphrase the Rhett Butler character, as to how this discussion looks to any other community, “Frankly, I don’t give a damn”. We need to determine what is appropriate for this community, informed by other communities experiences, but not compelled by their decisions. Just my opinion, which I believe I am entitled to hold.

          2. darelldd

            > If we had 25 years of 100% containerization, and it wasn’t causing unintended consequences/hardships on the community, you are correct, it might be a different discussion. <

            So now that we've had 25+ years of 100% non-containerization, and it clearly is causing "unintended consequences/hardships" today, why are so many resistant to improving the situation?

            (I honestly have no idea when loose waste pickup began here, but I'm guessing it started before we had bike lanes?? Anybody know?)

            Odd that so many wish to avoid change that might harm somebody – but don't seem to see that the system we have today is harming us. I guess that's the first hump we need to get over. And from behind the steering wheel and windshield, it is a difficult hump to navigate.

            Reminds me of the fear of switching from gasoline to electric transportation – but that's a whole 'nuther can of worms.

            Yes, we need to determine what is appropriate for our Platinum-level bicycle friendly town – one of those items that makes us different from other communities that containerize. And loose yard waste in the street is not one of those appropriate measures to continue here.

            IN the end, I appreciate your concern for our city and our residents. I only ask that you see that my concerns for our city and residents are equally strong – just coming from a different set of experiences (having used containerization for a lot of years before moving here, and currently cycling for transportation). Clearly our different experiences color our views of how things are, and how they should be.

        3. darelldd

          > However, what is proposed is no yard waste, at any time, on any street, irrespective of traffic (bike or otherwise) <

          I think you missed the part where I'm OK with a trial run of dumping yard waste on the street – in the middle of the street. Confined to the travel lane. Would you be onboard with that, or does this sound silly? If it would be a problem to have loose waste in the middle of the street, I'd like to hear why.

          Serious question.

          1. hpierce

            Can’t be a serious question… under the CA VC, if there are no bicycle lanes, bicyclists are entitled to use the roadway width, but need to stay to the right, except to turn left, etc. Even if there are bike lanes, cyclists are encouraged to take the travel lane for left turns. In roundabouts, bicyclists are encouraged to ‘take the [travel] lane’… so your question could be re-posed as, ‘in the travel lane of a roundabout, is that a good place to put yard waste?’ Are YOU serious?

            There are activists, and there are zealots. Big difference, to my way of thinking.

          2. darelldd

            It is a serious question, thus my closing of “serious question.”

            I am quite familiar with CVC 21202, and discussions about where a cyclist can legally ride does not answer my question or even inspire your re-posed one. After asking this same question several times, I have yet to receive a serious answer. Or any answer for that matter.

            Does it seem too absurd to consider piles of yard waste in the middle of the travel lane? I know it appears to be a silly question. And of course that’s part of the point, right? Silly as it seems, it is still a serious question.

            If you are done with the conversation, please continue to use labels to belittle the input of others with whom you disagree. Its a compelling way to feel better about your opinions.

        4. Tia Will

          hpierce

          So I am unclear why you would favor loose refuse on the street on any street ?
          What do you see as positive in this besides that fact that Davis has chosen until now to do it this way.

          I speak as someone who lives on a dead end, not heavily trafficked or heavily used by bicycles. I find the presence of loose refuse of any type in my street objectionable. This is as Darrell has pointed out a safety issue in other areas. I cannot honestly say that I believe it is in mine. But I find the habit or “tradition” of leaving your waste out in public highly objectionable from an aesthetic point of view and have the entire time I have been here in Davis.

  10. Mr. Toad

    Well I tried to offer a solution. Perhaps not perfect but an improvement but you don’t seem willing to seek solutions other than your preferred option. You may win, especially if Robb Davis is elected, but its not going to be without resistance.

    As for that data thing. Perhaps you think its obvious but you also seem to be pretty devoted to your bicycle. It seems to me that with all the biking enthusiasts and highly skilled citizenry its not too much to ask for. I actually surprised that you don’t already have it. We have a tradition of asking those who seek change to support the change with data. It may not seem fair but it is how we do things. I’ve heard that if you had to get aspirin approved by today’s standards it would never pass. Still we allow it because it was here first.

    I actually agree with you about marked bike lanes. I’m always careful to keep the branches out of the bike lane. It seems, even with limited resources, citations could be issued for impeding bike lanes.

    1. darelldd

      Toad – With this reply all the way over here at the left side, I can’t quite tell to whom you are replying. Since I’m the loud-mouth on this one, I might as well assume it is me.

      I am not trying to get “my way.” I am trying to get enforcement of our municipal code. I have no narrow “preferred option” on how to handle this problem, though I have some suggestions – and I sure know what doesn’t work (hint… it’s what we’re doing now, and what the council has recently approved). I have left that up to the City Council, the City Manager and enforcement to figure out how to solve this. So far this has failed to improve compliance with our muni code. Because of this clear failure, I have spent some time and effort to take a more active role to protect the safety of our road users. (look for notices from the DPD in your inbox soon).

      The “data thing:” I understand that my safety concerns may not be obvious to those who do not regularly cycle in town, at transportation speed, for regular transportation. Or if you do not have a child who cycles six miles a day for school. If your concerns come from assumptions and ignorance, please do not denigrate or minimize my direct experience in the matter. I am not so much devoted to my bicycle, or a cycling enthusiast – as if this is some little hobby that I dally with in my spare time. This is my transportation. It is how I am a productive citizen – attending meetings, earning a living, shopping, dining, doctor appointments, etc. I do not commute through Davis by bicycle as a fun little pastime for my own amusement. I am simply a person who needs to get places. And I usually choose to not drive a car. Is that so hard to understand? I’m a tax-paying resident who simply wishes to get on with my day efficiently and safely.

      How do you propose we collect this data? Who is it reported to? Who tallies it all up? Where is it stored? Only the most severe injuries are reported. And even those are only reported grudgingly because most cyclists are embarrassed to do so. Last night at the Farmer’s Market I spoke to an elderly gentleman who sheepishly told me that he’d collided with three piles in the past two years. And had mild injuries each time. He didn’t report any of these. What’s the use? he asked. I have not reported my pile collisions. And I don’t believe Mayor Joe has reported his. Who would we call, and what would happen?

      You view this as me seeking change. I seek compliance with our municipal code, and safety for our road users. As that doesn’t seem possible with the current practice of loose pile dumping, then change to containers appears to be needed. But whatever change is required is secondary to seeking compliance. If we can figure out a way to ensure our roadways are kept clear of debris, while still allowing dumping of debris in our roadways, I’m all for it! Please post the suggestions.

      Your argument for keeping things the way we have them boils down to this, as I understand it:

      1. You don’t believe there is a transportation safety issue from loose piles of waste in the bike lanes (you’ve not ever responded to how you’d feel with piles of branches placed in the way of automobile traffic that don’t get removed for a week. As a bonus, take away the roof, the doors, the windshield, two wheels and about 3500 pounds and let me know how that feels when you collide with the pile)
      2. The elderly may have trouble lifting green waste into a bin (though they seem to be able to handle dragging each piece out to the street.)
      3. You don’t wish to “mess with anybody in their home” (and we’re only talking about compliance to municipal code in a public area)

      Do I have that right? Does that sum up the crux of your argument for the status quo? Is there more that I’ve missed? Because nothing here even comes close to a reason to stick with what we’ve got. Really, your best argument is that “I like the convenience.”

      You feel that *I* am not willing to seek solutions? You think that *I* must provide data before I ask for code compliance? I’m not sure what else to say. My answers to you have not changed over the months, yet you keep asking the same questions, and not answering mine.

      1. Mr. Toad

        I think there are statistics kept on bicycle accidents. I don’t know who keeps them but otherwise we wouldn’t have helmet laws. Perhaps some health industry people would know.

        1. jrberg

          The PD is the only place that keeps statistics on accidents, including those involving bikes, but ONLY if the accidents are reported. Most single bike accidents are reported only if they involve injury, and the PD is called. If you hit a pile, break both arms, fire and AMR respond, but PD doesn’t, that is not a reportable accident. If you get hit by a car, or vice versa, PD will sometimes respond, if they are called to take a report.

          The BAC has been trying since its inception to get exactly those statistics, and it is not easy at all, and the statistics that are provided are incomplete. Data is good, but data requires time, energy, and money to collect.

          1. Tia Will

            In addition, hospitals keep statistics on injuries. However, from these statistics, which first are only kept if the injury is serious enough to require ER care, and then rarely would data be kept which would indicate exactly what had caused a cycling accident. The report would be lucky if it included the mode of transportation, bike vs scooter, vs roller blades, vs skate board but more likely would be reported simply as a fall.

        2. hpierce

          jrberg is CORRECT… unless there are significant injuries, there is rarely a report filed with PD… some reasons for that: Cyclist had no light, hit the pile after dark, and felt like it was “their bad”; cyclist was ‘impaired’ at the time, and again had the “my bad” response; never reported as it wasn’t a big deal OR thought no one would do anything about it. From the reports that WERE filed, some but not all have I seen, the ‘no light at night’ or impaired dominated. Still there is NO reason why green waste should be allowed on arterial streets (bike lane only, no parking). I still question the ban, in the name of safety, on low volume streets with no bike lanes.

          1. darelldd

            Because you have seen some of the reports, you imply that you know about the lighting and impairment of other injured riders that were NOT reported?

            That’s a stretch.

            Can you tell me about the lighting I was using, and how much I had to drink when I last hit a pile? Because I can barely recall. How about when our mayor hit his last pile?

            > I still question the ban <

            You question a "ban" that does not exist. Or are you questioning our existing Municipal code? Or the CVC?

            Thank you for the concession that green waste doesn't belong in the bike lanes. That's the high ground both legally and morally. But it sure doesn't seem popular with some!

  11. Alan Miller

    >We do not have the enforcement capacity to keep everybody in compliance

    Davis seems to have the enforcement capacity to keep people from piling green waste in car lanes. This is a problem of perception. Once this is no longer acceptable, the enforcement will follow. No one in a car will be hurt if you run over green waste — a branch could loosen a bracket or bend a pipe. If you run into a pile of green waste on a bike, the result can be serious. Despite keeping a sharp eye out at night, I have plowed into these piles. Having them less common only makes the remaining piles more dangerous. Unfortunately, equally dangerous are the increasing quantity of deep linear ruts in Davis roads that cannot be seen at night. At least they finally fixed the one along Fifth along the south side of Old North Davis.

  12. Michelle Millet

    You mess with people in their homes they are going to react.

    We are not discussing peoples homes, we are discussing disposing of waste, where it sits for up to a week, onto public streets.

  13. jrberg

    As an olde pharte (68) and a homeowner with multiple trees, I can’t wait to get a wheeled bin to put organic waste in that I don’t choose to compost myself. I have my occasional pains in the back, but I see huge benefits to having that green sucker out in the back yard where I do most of my pruning, and then just wheeling it to the curb the day before pickup. I do think that in cases where people are genuinely disabled, the city should provide “reasonable accommodation,” just as is done in many other cases where people need assistance.

    As a cyclist, I am grateful for the time Darell has spent on this issue. I have been trying to make the same points for many years, but without the impact Darell has made. As he has pointed out, and as I have as well, similar obstructions to auto travel lanes are not tolerated at all – in police parlance, they are immediately declared 11-25, and they are responded to rapidly. Equity and safety demands the same response for bike lanes, especially those used by young riders going to school. Not solving this problem makes a mockery of Safe Routes to School programs, which Davis has invested a lot of money in.

    I hope that the greatest good for the whole community can come out of this issue.

    1. Mr. Toad

      I do think that in cases where people are genuinely disabled, the city should provide “reasonable accommodation,” just as is done in many other cases where people need assistance.

      That would go a long way to solving the problem but I would add old too. When I look at where the vocal objection is coming from it seems to be coming from senior citizens who are worried about being able to comply. You can try to address these concerns and get what you want or you can be dismissive and try to roll these people. Its easier and more humane to try to figure out how to help the old and disabled while still getting what you want than it is to be dismissive of their issues.

      1. darelldd

        As well, the senior citizens who are worried could contact the 100’s of thousands of other senior citizens in the state who containerize their green waste, and see how they’re managing. All other cities have senior citizens. Almost all other cities in CA containerize their green waste. How are our senior citizens mowing their lawns today?

        Please don’t bring up “humane” while you push for convenience over safety.

        Clearly we must accommodate our truly disabled. But we can’t do it by disabling others.

        Your concern for the elderly is touching. Could you extend the same courtesy to our vulnerable road users, please? Do our children register on your concern scale? Or should we ignore what endangers them so that our elderly aren’t forced to hire a high school kid to clean up their yard every now and again?

        1. Mr. Toad

          Really, you want to play the vulnerable children card on me like its some big life or death thing and then claim that I’m being insensitive. Yes of course I care about the kids but have any been seriously hurt? Oh that data thing again. Could you at least try to show its a real problem for the kids? My kid hit a rock in a pile and got a bruise and you know what she avoids the piles now. I thought the problem was mostly after dark. Are a lot of inexperienced riders out after dark? Come on, please, we can all agree that public safety is important so let’s have a conversation about how we move forward.

          Several commenters have personalized this about me. Probably because I think there is too much change being pushed on a number of topics but I’ve pretty much made my peace with this issue. I have yard guys so I already have it mostly under control. My only personal thing is a big tree I need to prune for public safety on the sidewalk and its going to be a lot harder than just dragging the limbs to the curb in the parking lane if I have to cut them up and put them in a bin. Oh and yes I’m disabled. But what I’m trying to tell you is where the opposition is coming from and what you need to address if you want to move forward more smoothly. I base this on the elderly woman who spoke at public comment worrying that she wouldn’t be able to manage her yard or my 81 year old friend with the one acre lot who wrote a letter to the editor about not fixing what isn’t broken. I think under it all is the fear by seniors that they won’t be able to manage. You can call us all whatever you want but all that does is alienate people. The other option is to try to figure out how to address the concerns of these people, whether you think they are legitimate concerns or not. So far it feels like you want to demonize a bunch of old people for being fearful of change. I don’t think that helps.

          1. darelldd

            > Really, you want to play the vulnerable children card on me <

            Yup.

            And for the rest of it, I am tired of responding to every one of your questions as you ignore or evade every one of mine.

            I have direct experience with cyclists of school age, of middle age, and most often these days, with senior citizens who cycle every day. They are all vulnerable. May I assume that you care about the cycling senior citizens if the children do not make a suitable impression?

            I also have ten years of direct experience with green waste containerization, as well as 16 years of loose piles in the street. I have direct experience with octogenarians who find great convenience in green containers.

            Yet what I so often hear from the folks with no experience in any of these matters is their fears of the unknown stated as fact. And the disregard for cycling safety.

            While you might enjoy that sort of discussion as you hide behind a pseudonym, I'm working hard to increase the convenience and safety of our residents while using my real name. Unlike you, I am accountable for what I say and do here.

            Begin to answer some of my questions, and we can continue the conversation in a more meaningful way.

        2. hpierce

          Not to make light of the green waste issue, if safety is the ONLY issue, we should ban all cars from parking on a public street…. when I was a young and easily distracted kid, I ended up slightly dazed, but not significantly injured three times by running my bike into the back of a parked car on a low volume residential street. More significantly, we’d be way ahead of safety concerns if we eliminated all diagonal parking on G Street, particularly between Third and Those two situations have caused far more bike crashes than ‘green waste’…. second, prohibiting the opening of a driver’s side door on ANY street with a bike lane adjacent. There is nothing that is completely, absolutely safe.

          1. hpierce

            That got jumbled, as I got a call in the middle of composing it…

            “… if we eliminated all diagonal parking on G Street, particularly between Third and Second, and prohibiting the opening…”

          2. darelldd

            Ah. So because there’s nothing that is completely safe, it is your contention that we shouldn’t improve the safety of those things that are easy to control? With safety it is all or nothing?

            Thanks for not making light of it, at least.

            For the record, I support your plan to remove all parked cars from the street. I’m not sure we can pull it off, but I’m game to try.

          3. hpierce

            Apparently, if you espouse the idea of no parked cars on any street, (not my plan, but an extrapolation of removing ‘all’ obstacles from the roadway), it sounds like your view would tend to the “all”, rather than the “nothing”. “all” in this context would be no cars, no buses, no trucks, which would certainly make it much safer for bicycles and pedestrians. And the elimination of bicycles would make it safer for pedestrians. And the elimination of pedestrians would make it safer for ants.

          4. darelldd

            You’re funny. I didn’t espouse the idea. I supported YOUR idea. Which you explain away as an extrapolation of something I never said. I’m sad that you’re giving up on the idea before we give it a go!

            I want all obstacles out of the bike lanes. I wish to prevent people from dumping their refuse into my paty of travel. I wish to have the same benefits and protection in my travels as a car driver enjoys.

            Is this really so hard to understand? Clearly you don’t take any of this seriously. But you must understand the point. Or do you feel that automobile transportation deserves more respect than any other form of transportation?

            Do you feel that our Municipal Code only pertains to those who drive cars?

          5. Mr. Toad

            The Municipal Code pertains when it is enforced and like any law that is not enforced for long enough it becomes unenforceable. That I assume is why you seek a change because the current system hasn’t been enforced and no longer protects your interests. Of course there are other interests at play too like it or not. As for banning cars from parking on the streets altogether you are not alone your base of support in this town is likely larger than anyone could imagine.

          6. darelldd

            Surprise! It is now being enforced. And is a citable offense as it always has been. The difference is that citations will now be given for continued non-compliance.

  14. D.D.

    Bless me, Davisville, for I have sinned. It has been two years since my last city council meeting, and these are my sins:
    I used to drive a Nissan Sentra, rather than a Nissan leaf, around Davis. I used to drop my junior high aged kids off in front of Holmes, on occasion, when they did not feel like riding their bikes. I used to get people’s green waste trapped on the year wheel of my Nissan Sentra, when I dropped off my lazy kids. Once, I was in such a caffeinated rush to get to the causeway and over to Sac, that I nearly caused a car accident. I had green waste stuck underneath my Sentra, but I had Pink Floyd blaring “teen age wateland” on the CD player in my non-Leaf Sentra, and I swear I did not even feel all the branches & crap stuck under my non-Leaf Sentra. Thank God another Davisville resident pulled up beside me, over by Holmes, and gestured to me that I had branches under my car. I feel better now, having confessed my sins. Thank you.

  15. Frankly

    I noted today how dangerous it is driving with all of these bicycles and pedestrians in my way. Maybe we should force them all into a bus container.

    1. Michelle Millet

      Frankly, I was getting worried about you. We have been talking about green waste containerization all day and not a single post from you, I thought maybe you got run over by a bike or something. Glad to know you are okay.

    2. darelldd

      Wow. That’s all you’ve got? You must be busy with something else, because I was expecting something with a bit more substance. Normally you and Mr. Toad are like brothers in this, but you’ve left him to do all your heavy lifting. He could definitely use your support.

    1. darelldd

      In fact, the majority of our problems here in the first world are “first world” problems. Did you have a point that you’d like to share? Because we’re civilized we should ignore those issues that do not have to do with disease and obtaining enough food and water to survive another day? Help me out here.

  16. Mont Hubbard

    Mr. Toad;

    “Yes of course I care about the kids but have any been seriously hurt? Oh that data thing again. Could you at least try to show its a real problem for the kids?”

    Here’s a real account.

    From: Andrew Tritt
    Subject: bike accident
    Date: March 28, 2014 2:16:34 PM PDT
    To: ryneches@ucdavis.edu

    On one morning of early March of 2011, at approximately 11:00 am PST, I was riding my bike in the designated bike lane, traveling south, on Lake Blvd in Davis, CA. I commuted to work via this route daily.

    I rode past the Stonegate Country Club, a place where people frequently exercise and play with their dogs. It was then that a dog started barking at me. Startled, I looked toward the direction of the dog. At this same time, I was traveling around a slight bend in the road, for the road slightly curves to the right at this point. When I returned my sight to the road in front of me, I saw a large pile of green waste that consisted of lawn trimmings, dirt, and other yard waste. I immediately engaged my breaks; however, because I was traveling at considerable speed, I was unable to slow down in time to prevent colliding with the pile of green waste. The pile of green waste was dense enough such that my bicycle stopped completely, and, as a result, I was unseated and ejected over my handle bars onto the pavement.

    My forearms made first contact with the pavement. As this happened my, body remained in a downward and forward motion, resulting in my chin and left side of my face, as well as my knees, to hit the pavement. After coming to a stop, I stood up, and was unable to bend either of my arms. The woman, whose dog was barking, saw the accident, and immediately ran to my assistance. She retrieved my bike and helped me walk back to my apartment, which was nearby at Lakeshore Apartments at 1275 Lake Blvd, Davis, CA.

    After arriving at home around 11:05 am PST, my sister, Allison Tritt, drove me to emergency room at Sutter Hospital, located at 2000 Sutter Pl, Davis, CA. At the emergency room, I was treated for a laceration on my chin, an incomplete fracture at the proximal end of my left radius, sprains to both my left and right wrists, and numerous abrasions on the rest of my body, including both of my knees, both of my elbows and my face. The laceration on my chin was treated with five surgical sutures, which had to be removed roughly 10 days later, requiring me to visit my primary care physician. The fracture to my radius, which was not treatable with an orthopedic cast, was immobilized in a sling. The sprains to both of my wrists were treated by immobilizing with orthotic wrist braces.

    At the time of the accident, I was employed by the UC Davis Genome Center, where my occupation required me to use a keyboard, a task that requires mobility in elbows and wrists. As a result of this accident, my injuries left my wrists immobile, and I was not able to work for 7 days. When I returned to work, I had limited mobility in my wrists for roughly 3 weeks following, making work difficult. Because of my injuries, my wrists were only able to bear minimal weight. As I was unable to ride a bicycle for 6 weeks following the accident or any other activity that required my wrists to bear weight. Furthermore, the limited mobility of my wrists and elbows affected my ability to conduct common household activities such as cleaning and cooking, as well as basic hygienic tasks such as brushing my teeth and bathing.

    In addition to the inconveniences placed my daily life, I had to pay for medical expenses that totaled roughly $100.

    I thoroughly believe that if the pile of green waste was not located in the bike lane, I would have not been in this accident.

    Andrew Tritt
    986 55th St
    Oakland, CA 94608
    (608) 438 – 0386
    andrew.j.tritt@gmail.com

  17. Tia Will

    This afternoon, I decided to take a walk around downtown Davis. I first headed north along J street where I live.
    Between 2nd and 5th street, I encountered and took pictures of 7 piles of “green waste” piled in front of private residences. Only two of these piles extended over into the bike lane. Both would have posed the need for bikes to move out into the automobile lane to get around them. All of the others were sufficiently large to block automobiles from parking on the public street. I know that this is not a popular opinion, but I am truly wondering what leads someone to believe that they have the right to limit the use of a public resource with their personal waste ?

    I do not use Facebook and do not have the knowledge of how to put these pictures on the Vanguard or I would be happy to do so.

    1. darelldd

      Tia – the best way to deal with these piles right now is to send the images to code enforcement, at PoliceWeb@cityofdavis.org. Include a brief message about generally where they are, and why they shouldn’t be there. And keep doing it until we get this under control… please!

      We’re on the cusp of change, and code enforcement has requested to hear about these piles. I can only do so much in my day. So the more help, the better.

      >> I am truly wondering what leads someone to believe that they have the right to limit the use of a public resource with their personal waste ? <<

      Indeed. Well asked. So many relevant questions… so few answers.

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