Tony Bizjak

Back-seat Driver: Please, get your garbage can off the street

Published: Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 - 10:52 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 30, 2013 - 1:36 pm

In some neighborhoods, it’s hard enough to get a parking spot. On Debra-Jeanne Steve’s street in Arden Arcade, several residents leave their garbage and recycling containers on the street all week, blocking parking spots. It led to a recent shouting match. Steve wants to know: What’s the rule on how long you can leave your can on the street?

In unincorporated Sacramento County, they have a 72-hour rule. (Same goes for basketball hoops in the street.) If she chooses, Steve can call (916)875-5171 or email to complain. The county will send a courtesy letter. If the issue becomes “chronic,” county officials said, they could issue a $200 citation. The rules are similar in the city of Sacramento. The fine there is $100, but officials say they rarely run into someone who refuses to wheel their can back in after being warned.

Green lanes at bike danger spots

The city soon will be painting the pavement a bright green on certain dangerous sections of city bike lanes to send a message to cyclists that this is where you should be riding, and to remind drivers that they are sharing the street with cyclists.

One of the first areas will be a one-block section of Carlson Drive between J and H streets near Sacramento State where two cyclists were killed in recent years. The Carlson project will include a new signal light at the confusing intersection heading into River Park. Later, the city hopes to try out some special left-turn boxes for cyclists.

Capitol Mall between Third and Ninth streets will be getting green bike lanes in the coming months. Later, the city will extend the green lanes to the Tower Bridge. City traffic official Hector Barron said Carlson was chosen because it has "conflict areas" along that stretch. Capitol Mall was chosen because it’s a city entrance and announces “this is a bike-friendly community.”

The city eventually will add green sections to bike lanes on congested Freeport Boulevard, and will study other key areas. The green lanes feature a slurry with aggregate to make them grippy and durable.

Pedestrian seen as “Top Man”

While researching a story, we ran into this headline in The Sacramento Bee, circa 1956: “Pedestrian ‘Top Man.’” It was about a plan to revitalize downtown, based on the idea that “the man in the car or bus cannot become a shopper until he first becomes a pedestrian.” City officials were contemplating banning cars from the downtown core, and moving people around via “shuttle bus, moving sidewalks, elephant trains and the like.”

Ultimately, that plan morphed a decade later into the failed K Street pedestrian mall. About two years ago, city officials allowed cars back on most of K Street, hoping to bring more economic life there. The results: Too early to tell. The city is now talking about adding streetcars downtown.

Call The Bee’s Tony Bizjak, (916)321-1059.

Read more articles by TONY BIZJAK

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