This is the last period of the fall when Republic Services picks up piles of leaves left on Albany streets. Pointing this out also highlights how impossible it is to carry out the city’s advice on just how and where to pile up leaves.
The final leaf pickup period started Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 11.
On its website, the city has recommendations in regard to the flood of autumn leaves. First, it says, jam as much as you can into the yard debris containers. But those carts get full really fast, especially if you have large shade trees nearby. And since in Albany the carts get emptied only every other week, that’s no way to get rid of a lot of leaves.
The city suggests composting, too, which sounds swell if you’re a back-to-the-land type.
Whatever is left of the autumnal avalanche of leaves, the city says, rake them into the street without blocking the bike lanes. The resulting piles should be narrow and two feet from the curb.
As the photos here illustrate, that’s impossible. There’s no way to rake leaves into the street without piling them up in the bike lane, especially if you try to keep the space at the curb clear to allow rain water to flow through.
Cyclists understand this, and when the lanes are blocked, we ride in the traffic lane. There’s no way around it.
The only way to minimize blockages is to pick up the piles as quickly as possible after the leaves have been piled up. But let’s remember to be patient. It’s a big job, and it does take time. (hh)