Grass clippings endanger motorcyclists

8 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Friday, September 13 2019 Sep 13, 2019 Friday, September 13, 2019 6:11:00 PM CDT September 13, 2019 in News
By: Marian Bouchot, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - A recent Facebook post showed grass clippings left out in Jefferson City. Many commented on the post about the lack of consideration to clean up and how it puts motorcyclists at risk. Some on Facebook think the city ordinance regarding yard waste should be better enforced.

One of the most common code violations include improper landscaping and existence of junk and debris. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure no debris, including grass clippings is left out on the street.

Service director at Mid-America Harley Davidson Jim Mahan warns about the dangers grass clippings present to motorcyclists.

"What happens with the grass clippings is that [motorcyclists] can absolutely lose adhesion coming around a corner or even going straight," Mahan said. "You can lose traction and lose control of the motorcycle and really create a problem."

Mahan said that the best thing motorcyclists can do when grass clippings are on the road is to safely avoid them, but if that's not possible, then drive straight through them without braking.

Mid-America Harley Davidson offers free safety inspections to better prepare motorcyclists if they ever encounter clippings on the road. The inspection includes setting tire pressure, inspecting tread and brakes, and making sure tires are wearing properly.

Part owner of Mid-State Landscaping Michael Schulte said he was thanked by a motorcyclist for cleaning up the grass clippings.

"You do see [clippings] every now and then, but I just think its common courtesy to clean up after yourself and get everything looking nice again," Schulte said.

The city does contract with All Seasons Lawn Care to operate a local compost facility. Residents within the city limits can go and drop off their clippings and any other yard waste there at no cost. A current photo ID with current address must be shown.

There is also a service called Yard Waster Curbside on Demand that will come to a resident's curb to pick up their yard waste. Residents must buy and fill up a 30 gallon paper compostable yard waste bag. A basic pick-up, which includes 2 30 gallon bags, will cost 50 dollars. Any additional  bag is two dollars each.

MoDOT district maintenance engineer Jason Schafer encourages property owners who live near the highways to be mindful of where their grass clippings go. 

"When it comes to mowing we have equipment that is designed for rear discharge to prevent and minimize any grass clippings that go out onto the roadway," Schafer said.

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