Letter: Wet leaves create hazards for bicycle riders

Burbank bike lanes
A bicyclist makes her way through traffic near the Glendale/Burbank/Griffith Park border Thursday July 31, 2008.
(File Photo)

As the rains wash much of the remaining foliage onto lawns and streets, we are reminded to be aware of hidden hazards wet leaves create in our streets, especially for Burbank’s burgeoning league of daily bicycle commuters.
Regularly scheduled municipal street sweepings ordinarily keep these areas of the street clear and safe for bicyclists. But during this time of year especially, fallen wet leaves accumulating along street edges between sweepings create an imminent danger of sudden loss of directional control for bicycles. Much like automobiles on ice, bicycles cannot operate safely on wet leaves.

It is especially critical at this time of year for everyone to be doubly aware that Burbank bicyclists may need, and are legally entitled, to use the entire lane of roadway at any time.

California law says a person riding a bicycle has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. Bicycle riders may use any lane in the street, since they have the same rights and must follow the same laws as car drivers. Bicyclists may need the full lane to safely navigate specific road and traffic conditions. In addition, California law further defines other situations in which bicyclists are specifically permitted to leave their usual position on the far right of the street, regardless of traffic conditions, roadside hazards or debris.
Not everyone realizes that cyclists are allowed use of a full lane to safely navigate certain traffic situations. Every lane in Burbank is a bike lane. Let’s be aware and do our best keeping Burbank’s streets safe and friendly for all users!

Patrick Dickson