Leaf season

In my neighborhood, about half the trees have lost all their leaves for the year, and the other half are still hanging on. If I listen closely, I can hear the tick of leaves hitting the ground.

So, how have the bike lanes been doing during leaf season? At least for the parts of the central city and east Sacramento that I ride in, acceptably OK. People are putting their leaf piles in the bike lanes much less often than in previous years. I’m not sure why. I haven’t noticed any city effort to educate about this, other than a vague “When possible, avoid placing piles in bike lanes.” on their Leaf Season page. But I really do believe there are less piles in the bike lanes. Maybe people are beginning to clue in. If only there were a similar improvement in trash cans in bike lanes.

A big concern was how the new separated bikeways (‘protected bike lanes’, ‘cycletracks’) on P and Q and 10th (and now 9th) would do. The city has not yet purchased a device for sweeping these bike facilities. Apparently the ‘the claw’, the loader that collects the leaf piles and moves them into dump trucks, can negotiate the bikeways, and this is how they have been kept clear. This is working pretty well, all except for one block, pictured below. This section of P Street between 15th and 14th has a large accumulation of leaves, and the leaves have developed into leaf slime, with is an incredibly slippery mush of decayed leaves. I am not sure what is different about this block, but it certainly is different. It needs to be cleaned now, and cleaned more frequently.

P Street separated bikeway leaf slime

Author: Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.