Commentary: The Halfway Measure on Yard Waste Didn’t Work

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I have to admit I have never really understood Davis’ fixation with dumping yard waste loose in the street.  I will always remember as a graduate student at UC Davis in the late 1990s, biking home from class one day and encountering a big pile of yard waste in front of me and traffic to my left – I thought it was a mistake, I thought it was someone making a stupid lazy decision. 

When I called the city to complain about the obstruction in the bike lane, I was told they are allowed to do that.  I was incredulous.  Who would allow people to dump stuff in the bike lane – in bike friendly Davis of all places?  Little did I know at that time how pervasive the issue would be or how long I would be forced to grapple with it.

In April 2015, almost four years ago, the city passed their first reading of the new organics program that would go into effect in mid-2016.  The comments by the public underscore the nature of this discussion.

Mark Murray, for example, said that when Sacramento put forward a containerized proposal, he was opposed to it. He said, “I love the claw.” He said Sacramento came up with a good compromise, but the Davis staff has come up with an even better compromise.

“I frankly think your staff has come up with an even better compromise of keeping the claw, keeping putting yard waste in the street once a month,” he said. “With the legislation being passed, there isn’t going to be any yard waste going to landfill by the commercial sector, by the lawn and garden services… because we don’t want that organic material going to landfill.”

On the other hand, Darrell Dickey noted – as I have numerous times, “Before moving here, honestly I had never seen greenwaste piled in the street and the first question I had for my real estate agent was [whether] this was like a once in a year thing, we don’t throw trash in the street… He said, no this is one of the great things about Davis, we pile our stuff in the street. I was shocked.”

On the council, then-Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis noted that the ordinance addressed the issue “of allowing greenwaste to be dumped in the bike lanes at all anywhere in the city.”

Mayor Dan Wolk added, “I do think that this is a good compromise proposal between containerizing the greenwaste and also preserving the claw. I grew up in this community, I love the claw.”

So where does this put us now almost four years later?  About the same place we were.

For me, there are two critical reasons not to go loose in the street, even though I think Don Shor raises an important point: “We want to encourage people to garden, to grow their own fruit and vegetables and share them with their friends and neighbors and with the Yolo Food Bank. We should not take away a popular and successful program that encourages homeowners to grow trees and care for them properly, thereby making that more difficult.”

However, bikes and environment are of crucial concern.  It is interesting to note that “there is little data available on reported incidents between bicycles and yard material piles.”

The BTSSC (Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission) naturally is concerned with “the safety hazard potentials that yard material piles can cause.”

“Public comment on the item included the description of multiple cycling accidents caused by the yard material piles, and the lasting impact of those accidents on the riders,” the staff report notes in summarizing the discussion from January 10. “When discussing the lack of accident reports around the yard material piles in the streets, there was an agreement on the lack of a good way to report, or to even keep track of pile and bicycle collisions.”

In my view here, looking strictly at “accidents” between bikes and piles misses a point – the problem with piles are “encounters,” not necessarily actual collisions.  Moreover, most often the nature of the encounter is not a full-on collision that results in serious injury but rather a protruding stick that causes a scratch (sometimes not noticeable immediately) that would never be reported because there would be no point.

Moreover, it is the need to take evasive action, and the actions taken by some less responsible riders of veering into the street cause hazards between bike and car that are largely not quantifiable.

A final point on this, however, is one of perception rather than necessarily hazard or substance – how do you have a bike-friendly community that allows for dangerous or potentially dangerous yard material to be dumped in or near bicycle traffic?

The other issue is one of environment.  The URAC (Utility Rate Advisory Committee) points out that there are at least two environmental impacts: “the LITS (loose in the street) program vehicles cause GHG emissions as well as wear and tear on our streets.”

While that might be unavoidable, the “debris left in the streets causes pollution of our groundwater.”

That was after all a key reason for the change in 2015. 

An April 2007 staff report noted, “The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) staff, in review of the City’s Storm Water Management Plan submitted March 2003, had found the current green waste management program to be inadequate. RWQCB staff contends that loose green waste in the street degrades storm water quality and emphasizes that green waste containerization or its equivalent is needed.

“The current collection method of collecting green waste loose in the street poses safety concerns for bicycle riders,” staff reported in 2007. “The conflict between piles of green waste and bicyclists has been recognized over the years and appears in the City of Davis Bicycle Plan as an issue needing improvement.”

Back in 2014, Public Works Director Bob Clarke explained that the city currently operates under a state-wide general storm water quality permit and the language of the permit requires best management practices. He stated that “there are a number of people in the regulatory world who don’t believe that loose pick-up of green waste is the best management practice.” 

For their part, the URAC believes that there are “many combinations of alternatives that could be considered in place of LITS.”

They state: “We are confident these and other creative solutions can work effectively to obviate the need for LITS. In consequence, we encourage the City Council to allow URAC, other commissions (NRC, Tree Commission) and staff to investigate other options to LITS over the next 6-8 months.”

While I still think it is silly that Davis cannot figure this out, if URAC thinks they can come up with some alternative, I suppose we should hear them out.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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43 thoughts on “Commentary: The Halfway Measure on Yard Waste Didn’t Work”

  1. Darell Dickey

    David, a couple of points if I may.
    1. Darell has one r.  🙂 and when I made my public comment, I hope that my implied punctuation was better!
    2. Though I see that you have indeed only used the inappropriate word “accident” when quoting another (man, those minutes were tough to read), it still bothers me! No action item here (and thanks for your attention on that, but I still have to vent: If a hazard and obstruction to travel is designed into the infrastructure (in this case allowing piles of waste on our streets), then a collision with that obstruction should not be considered an accident. The collision is foreseeable (even expected, I guess), and the hazard can be designed out. These are collisions with a city-condoned obstacle, not “oops, I didn’t mean to’s”
    3. This statement I have trouble with: “Moreover, it is the need to take evasive action, and the actions taken by some less responsible riders of veering into the street cause hazards between bike and car that are largely not quantifiable.” Of course I agree with the troubling “need to take evasive action” part. But then calling on cyclists to be more responsible when faced with a lane-blocking pile, really skews the message inappropriately. The piles are a danger to cyclists because a cyclist is required to “swerve” into the travel lane with faster cars in order to avoid the purposefully-placed obstruction. As you know, trying to merge with faster, deadly traffic by yielding to something coming up fast from far behind is not something we should be asking of our kids headed to school. Nor anybody else for that matter. Obstructions in our bicycle infrastructure makes cycling less comfortable at a minimum. And in most cases more dangerous. Just as Don would like us to encourage gardening for the betterment of our city, I would like to encourage active transportation. And putting pile in the street makes transportation cycling in Davis *less* inviting.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          My point on the third paragraph was even if the blockage results in evasive action rather than some sort of collision, it is a problem for bicyclists. The part I think you’re troubled with is my anticipated response to those who say, a bicyclist can simply stop and wait for traffic to clear and then proceed. Can you imagine creating such a blockage in a vehicle lane and suggest that sort of remedy?

          1. Don Shor

            … a bicyclist can simply stop and wait for traffic to clear and then proceed. Can you imagine creating such a blockage in a vehicle lane and suggest that sort of remedy?

            It happens all the time. And that is precisely what drivers are supposed to do when their lane is obstructed.
            Anybody who is walking, driving, or bicycling needs to be aware and alert to the possibility that their lane may have obstructions at times. There is no guarantee that every lane of traffic will always be perfectly unobstructed.
            I believe it is illegal to block bike lanes with yard debris, but there have been comments that it isn’t easy to report them. I suggest that the council direct staff to make it easier to report violations of debris in bike lanes, and take action against violators.

          2. Don Shor

            I suggest the city develop an app whereby anyone can photograph a leaf or branch pile, then photograph the nearest address, and upload it immediately to the city — and have that generate an automatic letter of code violation with a warning. Collate the data this generates and figure out if there is a small number of code violators. I think there could be volunteers who would be willing to do bike patrols to file reports if it was an easy thing to do from your phone.

          3. David Greenwald Post author

            But you don’t have a policy for dumping that puts debris in proximity with the car travel lanes on a frequent basis.

          4. Don Shor

            The city does not have a policy that puts debris in proximity with bike lanes (which is what you seem to be implying). The city has an actual policy which prohibits what you are describing.

            YARD MATERIAL PILES MAY NOT BE PLACED IN ANY PORTION OF A BIKE LANE.
            Yard material piles will not be permitted on streets where they will be placed in the bike lane.

          5. Don Shor

            From the city website, note the all caps (text bolded for emphasis here):

            Yard material piles are not allowed in the downtown core area (the area bounded by 5th Street, the south side of 1st Street, the west side of B Street and the Union Pacific railroad tracks).
            Leaves and grass are not allowed in yard material piles unless the organics cart is already full.
            Place yard materials directly in front of the property it came from, not across the street or around the corner—this is illegal dumping and the pile will not be picked up!
            Place yard material piles 18” from the curb or gutter.
            Yard material piles may not be larger than 5 feet in any direction.
            Do not block fire hydrants, driveways or stormdrain inlets with yard material piles.
            Be aware that yard material piles can create serious hazards for cyclists; YARD MATERIAL PILES MAY NOT BE PLACED IN ANY PORTION OF A BIKE LANE.
            Yard material piles will not be permitted on streets where they will be placed in the bike lane.
            Yard material piles are not permitted in The Cannery development.
            Do not park or drive over yard materials.
            Do not place bagged yard materials in piles—leave yard materials loose in piles on the street.
            DO NOT use a leaf blower to blow material into the street unless it is being placed in a yard material pile. DO NOT leave trash in yard material piles.

          1. Don Shor

            It’s fair to say they have a policy that leads to road hazards for bicyclists.

            Actually, Craig, the policy specifically forbids that. So we have a compliance and enforcement problem, not a policy problem, with regard to bike safety and debris piles.

        2. Richard McCann

          Don
          Your proposal would add even more cost to a program that we are reviewing for perhaps being too costly. That seems to be headed the wrong direction.

          1. Don Shor

            All you need to do is tell me how many letters and how much cost the city presently expends for nuisance abatement, and how much you think that would increase the city’s costs in that regard. If we wish to retain the program, the cost would be for improved bicycle safety. It’s clear to me that you don’t wish to retain the program, but many Davis residents do wish to do so.

        3. Bill Marshall

          Here’s the deal…

          Don’s MC cites are correct
          There are some bike lanes that are also parking lanes (generally 15 feet width, from curb)… it is not illegal to place yard waste in the parking lane portion (leaving plenty of room for bicycles)
          some consider the area adjacent to the curb as a ‘bike lane’ even if not striped… el wrongo, as,
          bicycles have the entire road available to them, ‘except’ when there are striped bike lanes… in parentheses, because the Code (VC) can be a bit weird on this… on one hand, bicycles need to be on the right side of the roadway, except when avoiding obstacles, making left turns etc… 
          it is safer to “take the lane” in roundabouts, and/or making LT’s… some, like John Forrester, opine that bike lanes are more dangerous than no striping, as too many cyclists make a left turn from the bike lane, rather than taking the travel lane or LT lane… not a good idea to make a left turn from a bike lane @ an intersection… stupid, in fact (does Darwin’s theory apply?).
          velocities of motor vehicles with bike traffic adjacent does not cause crashes (frequencies)… when crashes occur, has a lot to do with severity of injuries/death…
          turning movements by bicycle drivers and/or motor vehicles is the main ‘driver’ in crashes, excepting when one or more of the participants in the crash are inattentive and/or impaired. 
          In a crash between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, there is a basic law of physics that applies… bicycle and rider get the short end of the stick…

          On residential streets, with no bike lanes, yard waste shouldn’t cause a problem, if users of the road are attentive and not impaired, and using lights at night.  That’s a fact.
          The GHG thing… BS… plant debris will release GHG… whether left in place, containerized and taken to composting, or taken to the landfill… called ‘nature’…
          Water pollution… also somewhat BS… garden waste piles can absorb pollutants from the street in rainfall events… particularly ‘first flush’ events (a beneficial result)… as to the other “pollution” effects, guess we should demand no plant waste from farmland, forests, etc.  All winds up in the watershed…  or gives off GHG. 
          The damage to roadway thing (due to “the claw”… also BS… might affect aesthetics, but does not change  (except possibly de minimus, squared) useful lifetime of pavements… bus traffic, oxidation, poor original construction, temperature swings, inadequate routine maintenance to avoid water intrusion into the subgrade, accounts for ~ 99.987% of roadway damage.
           

        4. Alan Miller

          It happens all the time. And that is precisely what drivers are supposed to do when their lane is obstructed.

          Wrong.  Bicycle lanes shouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to be obstructed any more than car lanes are.  In many cities, they unofficially double as Uber/Lyft dropoff lanes — NOT COOL!

    1. Alan Miller

      If a hazard and obstruction to travel is designed into the infrastructure . . . then a collision with that obstruction should not be considered an accident.

      Such as a bicycle into a bulb-out of other raised intersection cement island-ish thing.  Or a bicycle being forced towards traffic due to such, resulting in a collision.  Not an accident!

  2. Richard McCann

    Don Shor said: ” We should not take away a popular and successful program that encourages homeowners to grow trees and care for them properly, thereby making that more difficult.”
    The URAC was presented with data from across a wide range of cities in California that showed that there are many other cities that generate more green waste than Davis, but yet rely solely on containerized green waste disposal. Maintaining trees and gardens do not appear to be discouraged in those cities and towns. Davis is not unique its gardens and yards, yet it is virtually unique in how it handles its yard waste. The evidence does not support your hypothesis.

    1. Don Shor

      Davis is not unique its gardens and yards, yet it is virtually unique in how it handles its yard waste.

      Not really. Did you review the practices of cities that offer yard waste pickup? Significant local example: Sacramento, where leaf and yard pickup occurs from Nov 1 through January 31 approximately every two weeks. Yard waste in Sacramento includes tree and shrub prunings. (Reference: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/Public-Works/RSW/Collection-Services/Yard-Waste/Leaf-Season . Their “claw schedule” is “approximately every two weeks.”)

  3. Richard McCann

    I will point out that is not just the URAC that proposed to contribute to a study of the program. The NRC also passed a resolution asking for the same type of analysis.

  4. Sharla Cheney

    I’ve ridden my bike in Davis for 55 years.  I have never had a problem with this.  I just don’t see it as an issue.  If something is in the lane, you merge into the other lane to go around it (signalling before the merge, of course). There is nothing restricting bikes to the bike lane.  I have a much more of a problem with potholes and uneven surfaces on a bike.

    1. Darell Dickey

      I hear you, Sharla. I’m an experienced cyclist as well. And precious little of my Safe Streets advocacy helps *me* personally as far as my riding style is concerned. Or you, apparently. My goal is to make cycling safe and comfortable for everybody, not just the experienced, strong, fearless cyclists. I’m not happy to have our children required to merge into high-speed traffic to avoid a purposefully-placed pile put in their path of travel. It turns out that most drivers (including me!) aren’t thrilled with having cyclists merging into and out of the travel lane either. Making the cycling infrastructure better helps everybody.
      Would you see this as more of an issue after hearing of lost wages and permanent injury… suffered by other cyclists as experienced as you are? Of of children being hurt or discouraged from riding to school?
      And yes, pavement quality is also a a big concern, often exacerbated by having piles forcing cyclists to cross longitudinal cracks to avoid the first preventable hazard.

      1. Sharla Cheney

        I started riding to school at age 5, along with my siblings and friends, so I think I managed well to make it to school and no one I grew up with experienced difficulty with these piles.   In fact, we learned quickly that it was not wise to bomb through leaf piles lest there be a branch hidden in the pile, even tho it was so much fun.  I think this is much more of an adult issue where the speed is higher and the distractions are greater. 

  5. Brian Youngs

    Don Shor said: “I suggest the city develop an app whereby anyone can photograph a leaf or branch pile, then photograph the nearest address, and upload it immediately to the city.” 
    The city actually uses an app that does just that. You take a photo of any city related issue using the app and it records the GPS coordinates, along with your comments, and then gets sent to the appropriate department. Search ” GORequest” in your app store. I use it on my iPhone.

  6. Darell Dickey

    So frustrating that I can’t reply to comments that are more than three deep.
    To Don: The current prohibition of placing yard piles in the bike lanes is relatively new, and was a hard-fought “victory”. Loud complaints of “where will we put it then?” Until the most recent update to the muni code, it was perfectly legal and acceptable to dump debris in the bike lane. Today it is illegal, and of course still happens for many compelling reasons (one big reason is that we have bike lanes that are not marked on both sides, so who can tell where the bike lane is even if someone is trying not to block it??) Next I usually hear that better enforcement is the obvious and simple solution. And not many people realize that soon after the new muni code was in place, we began paying for a full-time employee to enforce the pile ordinance. Is this where our resources should be going? Especially considering that enforcement of our current system is like pushing a rock up a hill? I used to be one of two people who tried to enforce this. It is an impossible task.
    Next is this idea that piles in the bike lane are the only hazard that the piles pose to people traveling by bicycle. And we know that this is not the case. Most collisions I’ve heard about and experienced have been with piles that were *not* in a bike lane. When we allow piles on our streets, the streets become more dangerous by design. Cyclists (especially our younger riders) are constantly admonished to ride on the right edge of the road, and precious few riders want to be mixed up in higher-speed car traffic. And even when there is no bike lane, having an irregularly-shaped, difficult to see pile (or at least that one branch sticking out) on the street is at best an annoyance in daylight, and at night is a significant safety hazard. Yes, even for those who are skilled and experienced and using great lights. Heck, car drivers hit the piles regularly, so I get tired of hearing that the whole problem is that cyclists don’t use lights.
    Yes, sometimes the travel lane is blocked by a surprise tree branch or such. But an incident like that is called in as an emergency, and literally the police and PW are on scene immediately with lights flashing (and usually, the first step is to push the hazard into the bike lane until it can be properly removed). On the other hand, the city condones dumping of piles on the street (never in the travel lane, mind you), and there’s no emergency called to remove it from a path of travel, even when reported.
    Everybody agrees that we shouldn’t block the sidewalks and travel lanes. But having piles where people feel the most safe and are asked to ride is condoned by the city.
    I have a garden too. Eight fruit trees. Large shade trees. I absolutely enjoy the convenience of loose pickup, even though I only use it 2x per year. But the public safety aspect of this is *far* more important to me. And I get tired of the dangers being summarily ignored or dismissed. Friends and family have been *seriously* injured due to piles. It’s a real thing that would be fixed if it were cars being scratched or drivers injured.

    1. Alan Miller

      So frustrating that I can’t reply to comments that are more than three deep.

      Some people are as special with their extra comment depths as the Cannery is with its yard waste policies.

      1. Darell Dickey

        Touché. I have no idea what the best practice is when wishing to comment on something that’s “too deep” for a mere commenter such as myself. Sure breaks up the thread to respond to something a foot lower on the page from the comment in question.

  7. Darell Dickey

    Uh… my comment was just marked as spam, and I’m immediately prevented from editing, now that I see my formatting has been compromised. Help?

    [2nd comment that’s gone into spam today for no apparent reason. We’ll keep an eye on that folder and release as quickly as possible.– Don]

    1. Dave Hart

      Removing them because you don’t like raking the leaves?  If that’s not the reason, why post it here in this context?  And if you are removing them because you don’t like raking leaves, I hope your air conditioning bill teaches you a lesson you won’t forget.

  8. Darell Dickey

    >> On residential streets, with no bike lanes, yard waste shouldn’t cause a problem, if users of the road are attentive and not impaired, and using lights at night.  That’s a fact.<<

    I agree that it's a fact that piles *shouldn't* cause a problem *if*….
    And here's another fact to consider. Yard piles DO cause problems even when the road users are attentive and not impaired and using lights at night. Capable, skilled, experienced, unimpaired, attentive cyclists with good lighting have been seriously injured by that one little invisible twig that sticks out of an otherwise vaguely visible pile that they're trying to avoid.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Capable, skilled, experienced, unimpaired, attentive cyclists with good lighting have been seriously injured by that one little invisible twig that sticks out of an otherwise vaguely visible pile that they’re trying to avoid.

      Cites/backup to the claim of the statement?  In Davis over the last, say, 25 years?
      The only two accounts I’ve seen documented both involved lack of lights on bicycle, and included impairment and/or inattention… if the statement is true, and not just conjecture, am willing to listen.  And change my view…
      Reminds me of folk who want things done their way, conjecture about what might happen, then conclude with “how many children must die, until the City takes action?”  Seen that a couple of dozen times over the years, and it was always a rhetorical tactic, not based on facts…

      1. Bill Marshall

        BTW, I generally respect Darell’s take on bike/traffic issues, but am not convinced on this subject of ‘green waste’ disposal on the street… I do believe that regs on the placement [timing of when it could be placed (day or two before scheduled pickup), size and location], should be enforced better… there have been times (several dozen) of ‘landscapers’ promising their clients removal of plant debris, then surreptitiously dumping the matter on City streets, in bike lanes, charging their clients for the landfill disposal, but never taking it to the landfill.

        1. Darell Dickey

          See my comment to Don below… and elsewhere. 
           
          Enforcement of this is impossible. We already have one full-time city employee doing nothing but enforcing piles. How much more is reasonable to put into this ONE type of enforcement, when we can’t come up with money to fix our infrastructure? I’m speaking from direct experience, as I was one of two people enforcing this before the city hired an official position for this.
           
          Enforcement is an overwhelming challenge
           
          Last night I tried desperately to encourage a LITS pickup that *could* be enforced. I got about half of what I asked for.

      2. Darell Dickey

        I apologize if I seem like the sort who pulls data out of my butt. In general, I’m not that guy. I don’t only have data, I also have personal experience. Once you hear your school-age daughter crying in the shower as she picks bits of pavement out of her raw forearms, you too will likely think quite differently about this issue. 

        Yes, we have first-person accounts. In fact some of us are putting quite a bit of our own time into collecting this data specifically because of how many times we hear that the lack of data is evidence that there is no issue. There is no official reporting of this, and our polling and collecting of stories has literally just begin in the past few days. We’ve been somewhat surprised at the response, and can’t quite keep up. There’s no hope of capturing anywhere near a complete picture (how to poll everybody? Especially the transient nature of UC students who represent our biggest block of riders), but we’ll continue to add to the list as time permits. While the lighting aspect is a popular red herring (please note that people driving cars with two huge headlights also regularly drive into and through piles… as well as other road obstacles) so far the vast majority of recorded collisions cannot be blamed on “no lights.” Seriously. Red herring. I’d be happy to escort you on a night ride with excellent lights, at transportation speeds, to show you how tough these low, irregular, non-reflective piles are to see. Most folks who bring up the lighting aspect seem to consider that cycling should or does occur well below 10 mph.

        So. In hopes that our effort really does count as “not conjecture” and that it inspires you to start listening… here’s the list that we’ve just started (and when I say “we” I’m taking far too much credit for what others have done!). Scroll down a bit.

        https://www.bikedavis.us/greenpiles
         

  9. Darell Dickey

    Actually, Craig, the policy specifically forbids that. So we have a compliance and enforcement problem, not a policy problem, with regard to bike safety and debris piles.

    You are assuming that the only piles on the street that endanger people on bikes are those that are placed in a bike lane. And this is not the case.

    I agree that it is a compliance problem. But just like with enforcement, compliance has proven to be too difficult, and thus here we are. With a HUGE effort at enforcement, we still can’t get compliance. And even if we did, our muni code still allows loose piles to be dumped on our streets, in the general part of the roadway where we encourage our cyclists  (in particular the youngest) to ride.

  10. Don Shor

    With a HUGE effort at enforcement, we still can’t get compliance.

    How many letters were sent? How many fines were levied?

    Is there any compromise on this issue that would be acceptable to you?

    1. Darell Dickey

      >> How many letters were sent?
      Thousands per year. We pay one full-time employee to drive every street of Davis every week to do this. 

      >> How many fines were levied?
      hundreds per year.
      Please recall that *I* used to do the enforcement. I know of what I speak. This is an impossible task that we’re throwing money and time at, and pretending that all we need is more of it. Hell, I used to think that too! Round peg in a square hole.

      >> Is there any compromise on this issue that would be acceptable to you?
      Yes. The ones that don’t involve knocking public safety off the top of the priority list.

    2. Darell Dickey

      Is there any compromise on this issue that would be acceptable to you?

       
      Coming back to this… it may surprise you to learn that at last night’s city council meeting I volunteered my time to champion a unique schedule that provided *more* LITS pickups than council ultimately voted to approve. My suggestion not only provided more pickups, it also offered more value to the rate-payers, and would be easily enforceable. At the same time, my schedule would have created a safer transportation environment. 
       
      Shocking, right?
       
      The implication of your question is that I don’t think about these issues holistically, and that I’m not likely to consider compromising. At some point you may realize the folly of that assumption, and that I actually do a bit of thinking on the subjects I’m passionate about. I don’t always get it right, of course. But maybe there’s a way that we can all get along. In no way is this “trees vs cyclists.” But that’s how some like to make it out. (Have I mentioned that I’m also a PV advocate? And those dang shade trees get in the way of that too!)

      1. Bill Marshall

        Not “shocking” at all to me… actually, you do think… I may not always agree, but I respect that you actually think, “holistically” or otherwise, unlike many who just “react”, according to their “dogma”… 

        ‘Safety’ is relative… and never guaranteed… stuff happens… minimizing risk, balancing one risk with other ‘risks’, is good… 

        No one should expect that nothing will go wrong in their life… or expect government to make sure nothing goes wrong… IMHO

        Balance is good..

        1. Darell Dickey

          >> Safety is relative… and never guaranteed
          We can’t guarantee safety of course. But putting piles on the street guarantees that our streets are less safe for active transportation.
           
          >>stuff happens
          Having a policy that places hazardous piles in our transportation corridor is not something that “just happens.” It is dangerous by design.

      2. Don Shor

        Shocking, right?

        The implication of your question is that I don’t think about these issues holistically, and that I’m not likely to consider compromising.

        No, it was a genuine question without intended implication. I guess I’d need to watch the meeting to see what your proposal was, unless you care to share it here. But I guess it’s moot now.

        (Have I mentioned that I’m also a PV advocate? And those dang shade trees get in the way of that too!)

        Solar and shade trees have serious conflicts. In that instance, if I have to choose, I come down on the side of the trees. I’m kind of a tree advocate, most of the time.

    3. Dave Hart

      If we get rid of the claw, we simplify the message and simplify enforcement.  Don’t put your crap in the streets or you will pay a fine just like you would if you dumped household waste in the street.  We can then put all those enforcement resources into making containerized organic waste more efficient and effective.  No need to compromise, just do the right thing for a change.

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