Proposed ordinance change takes aim at trash cans

Proposed ordinance change takes aim at trash cans

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 22 at 6:20 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- City leaders on Monday could approve a change in city code requiring people to put their garbage cans further back from the curb.

Part of the reason stems from a deadly accident last May, when a Myers Park High School student died after swerving to avoid three garbage cans placed on Sharon Lane.

Police say 14-year-old Andrew Wright swerved to avoid the garbage cans which were blocking the sidewalk, but his right handlebar hit one of them, he lost control, fell into the road and was struck by a food delivery truck.

The current city ordinance says garbage cans, often referred to as rollouts, must be two-feet from the curb. 

The proposed changes include having rollouts within six feet of the curb.  It would also prevent rollouts from being in the roadway, and asks people to use reasonable care and caution so they don’t block sidewalks.

"I think it's easy to happen and I can see how he hit the handle of his bicycle on the bin and lost control. I'm surprised other things like that haven't happened,” said neighbor Dawn Jeffries.  One of her kids was Wright’s classmate.

Jeffries says she has watched neighbors avoid garbage cans several times.

"Into the street or on the grass,” she said.

In January, the city started a public awareness safety campaign about keeping sidewalks clear. 

In February, the Environmental Committee approved recommended changes to the code.

"I think it might be a bit inconvenient for some people, but if it keeps somebody safe, then it's worth it,” Jeffries said.

One thing up for discussion Monday night is how to enforce it and do it fairly, since people's yards, elevations and sidewalks are different.

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