Reading Assignment: What to Do When Trashcans Block the Bikelane?

Photo: ## Pigeon L.A.##

During the next three days, I’m on extensive baby duty and there’s no guest articles in the hopper that I know of.  Since I don’t like leaving readers who have grown accustomed to two longer stories everyday with less than their usual fare, each of the next three days I’m going to spotlight original reporting issues within our usual coverage sphere.

The first story comes from our friend Josef Bray-Ali from the Flying Pigeon Bikeshop’s blogsite.  Bray-Ali tracked down the information on who to call and what to say to report trash/recycling/green bins inside of bike lanes.  This public service should be read far and wide, so distribute it far and wide.  Heck, someone should probably make a ride card out of it:

You know what is cool? Bike lanes in Los Angeles are cool. You know what is not cool? Blocking bike lanes with trash cans is not cool, moreover it is also illegal. It says so in California Vehicle Code Section 21211:

Who do you call when trash cans block the bike lanes in LA? After years of digging, LA’s cycling commuity has found the answer: the Bureau of Street Service’s Inspection and Enforcement Division. Their Inspectors are professional peace officers tasked with, among other things, keeping the right of way clear of obstructions. You can contact them by calling 213-847-6000.

To read the rest of the story, click here.



  • Mensch

    I’ve been fighting this same battle in Burbank for a few months now. The people at LACBC gave me a name in the Burbank Community Development Dept., who passed word along to the Sanitation Dept, who said they would notify the homeowners that they need to find another place to put their bins for collection. This was back in May; so far, I’ve seen no change. The bike lane on Riverside is still full of bins between Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning.

  • tim1724

    VC section 21211 doesn’t apply to bike lanes.  Bike lanes are class II bikeways, but section 21211 only applies to class I bikeways, as defined in section 890.4, subdivision (a).

    Here’s section 890.4, which I’ve copied & pasted from

    890.4. As used in this article, “bikeway” means all facilities that provide primarily for bicycle travel. For purposes of this article, bikeways shall be categorized as follows:
    (a) Class I bikeways, such as a “bike path,” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians with crossflows by motorists minimized.
    (b) Class II bikeways, such as a “bike lane,” which provide a restricted right-of-way designated for the exclusive or semi exclusive use of bicycles with through travel by motor vehicles or pedestrians prohibited, but with vehicle parking and crossflows by pedestrians and motorists permitted.
    (c) Class III bikeways, such as an onstreet or offstreet “bike route,” which provide a right-of-way designated by signs or permanent markings and shared with pedestrians or motorists.

    Certainly some parts of 21211 sound like they should apply to bike lanes, but as written it looks like it applies only to class I bikeways.

  • Josef

    tim, CVC 21211 applies to bikeways, and bikeways include bike lanes, bike paths, bike routes, etc.

    The relevant section of 21211:

    (b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

  • joe

    I always wonder in this time when cities are fighting for funding, why would they not take every  chance to grab cash from people that flagrantly break the law and put people at risk? How tough would it be to let the parking ticket folks write a few more? 


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