Please write the City of Davis Tree Commission today at <email@example.com> in advance of today's early evening meeting, or call during the meeting, and ask them to incorporate elements of my City Soil concept to their draft modifications of Chapter 37 of the municipal code.
City Soil builds roots to support not only trees, but also clean air, quieter neighborhoods, jobs and sustainable transportation!
In Davis, it's not allowed to place leaves or other yard waste in bike lanes. Never. Never Ever. It's a good regulation.... because it's DANGEROUS!
There's a stretch on 5th St. in Mace Ranch where unknown assailants who live in the neighborhoods east of the police station and west of Alhambra place leaves and/or branches in the bike lane. Per a discussion on NextDoor, at least in The Cottages there's no scheduled yard waste pick-up due to some financial arrangement made when it was established, or later. It's not clear. Myself and several others have been using the City's notification system to report these transgressions for years... but the only result is that the rest of us pay the City to pick up what these people won't pay for.
Earlier this week in an exchange with Staff from City of Davis Public Works I was told "If your request is determined by staff to be an urgent safety concern, we will respond immediately to conduct a field check and make necessary repairs to ensure the safety of the community. Once immediate repairs are completed and the site is safe, any necessary final repairs will be completed based on assessments of priority and staff availability.". This was a somewhat generic reply, which could also refer to potholes and similar.
Some of the current piles - as of yesterday afternoon - have been there since the beginning of the month, or they picked up only to be replaced in the next days by more yard waste. The other day several vehicles had to slow repeatedly to avoid two teens on bicycles who were diverting around the piles. I was driving one of the cars and was familiar with the piles; not everyone will be so conscious. This is not an "urgent safety concern"?
I've written the relevant management company and HOA about it. No response.
City Council has been told about it. The Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC), too, but so far no action from either. Unlike a pothole, this is an intentional action that could cause the death of a someone on a bike. IF this was blocking a traffic lane it would not be tolerated.
However, making these neighborhoods pay for yard waste pick up services - or more simply, getting them to use their "green bins" for same, are band aids at best. A much better solution - for all of Davis - would be if leaves were left where they fell, swept from walkways into areas under trees or composted in situ. Leaves are designed to supply nutrients to the trees they fall as they become part of the wonderful habitat that is the soil.
People don't only need a reason to not blow or place yard waste into bike lanes and streets, they need a reason to keep it where it falls. I've begun to draft a proposal that improves on the City and Street Trees programs of the City to encourage not only the Tree Commission to create a literally deeper reason to leave leaves, but also the Natural Resources Commission (as it relates to leaf blowing and water pollution), the Social Services Commission (as changing leaf collection impacts vulnerable yard maintenance workers) and the BTSSC (as it impacts bicycling and road safety.). Please write these commissions, too!