Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on November 20th, 2007 at 3:40 pm
A story in the Portland Tribune today, Fall bounty piles on problems, profiles a Laurelhurst couple who are concerned that leaf piles in their neighborhood might “someday cost a bicyclist or a pedestrian or a motorist his life.”
At issue are huge piles of leaves raked into the street by homeowners. They expect PDOT crews to pick them up, even though it’s not technically PDOT’s job (they’re only supposed to clean up leaves that fall from trees that overhang into the street).
The story focuses on the crusade being waged by Laurelhurst resident Todd Peterson and his wife (who asked that her name not be mentioned). They want people to pick up their own leaves before someone gets hurt.
Here’s a snip from the Tribune article:
Peterson says the practice in essence turns two-lane streets into one-lane streets, and says he worries about serious accidents with bicyclists or cars. “It’s going to happen, sooner or later,” he says.
According to the article, the practice of sweeping leaves into the street like this is not technically illegal (yet), but it is discouraged. Each year, PDOT distributes flyers to these neighborhoods with, “an admonition against the “rake your leaves into the street” practice”.
Peterson’s wife emailed me a few days ago wondering, “are you bikers driven crazy by people sweeping their leaves into the street?”
I agreed with her that these piles are a nuisance, but I’m not exactly fearing for my life. I also encouraged her to call 823-SAFE (7233) — PDOT’s livability hotline — to report her concerns and keep me posted on what happens.
What are your experiences with these leaf piles? Bike safety hazard? A sign of “bicycle neglect”? No big whoop?
I’m curious what you think.