News Flash

County Administrative Office

Posted on: April 20, 2021

Road and Sidewalk Safety: Maintaining Hedges and Properly Placing Trash Cans Can Help

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Springtime brings color back to the North Coast region with budding leaves and blossoms, but springtime growth can become a safety concern when hedges, bushes, and other vegetation grows over roadways and sidewalks. Sometimes, trees and vegetation cover up street signs. Garbage cans also pose an obstacle to pedestrians and drivers. Take note of the places you put your garbage cans. 

Taking Care of Your Vegetation

As residents go outside to enjoy the sunshine, the County of Humboldt Public Works Department asks residents to observe your yards and take simple steps to keep vegetation from becoming an obstacle on sidewalks for pedestrians or a potential hazard to drivers and bicyclists. 

Vegetation must be trimmed back so as to not block the traveled way. This includes the road, as well as the shoulders and sidewalks. It is your responsibility to ensure your vegetation is always maintained to this standard.

Because vegetation grows quickly, the Department encourages residents to trim vegetation back "a little extra" so that it reduces the frequency that vegetation needs to be trimmed. Vegetation growing over the sidewalk reduces the width of sidewalk for pedestrians. Some pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, need to use the full width of the sidewalk.


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Vegetation (including trees) needs to be trimmed back so that traffic control devices, like signs and signals, are visible for at least 300 feet from the vehicular travel lanes. In the case of traffic signs that regulate parking, the parking signs must be visible for at least 300 feet from the parking lanes; or the previous parking sign, whichever distance is shorter


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Don't forget to trim back vegetation at your driveway. Keeping plants no taller than 36" at your driveway helps you see pedestrians and other traffic on the road. It also helps pedestrians and other traffic on the road see if your vehicle is moving.

Good Visibility

Good Visibility

Poor Visibility

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Take Care of Your Neighbors by Taking Care of Your Trash Cans

Garbage bins can also block public walkways, and the way you place them can make it easier for garbage trucks to pick them up and move on to the next residence. Place bins at the street only on the day before and on the day that pickup is scheduled. Bins may not be stored in the roadway or on the sidewalk. Do not leave bins on the sidewalk as the full width of the sidewalk must be kept usable for pedestrians. Some pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, need to use the full width of the sidewalk. Here are some helpful tips.

The Land Use Division is responsible for review, administration and inspection of improvements required for land use projects. Land Use provides right-of-way and land acquisition services for construction and maintenance projects, researches right-of-way records, investigates complaints, and assists other divisions. Land Use is responsible for management and issuance of permits for activities within the public maintained road system, such as encroachment permits for driveways, parades, special events, and transportation permits for oversize/overweight vehicles.

For more information, visit the county’s website or call the Encroachment Permit Office at the Land Use Division at 707-445-7205.

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