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Slow down when driving near maintenance workers clearing leaves, city staff asks

Crews working in medians, along streets to remove leaves that plug storm drains, causing floods

With the winter rains upon the city, Pleasanton maintenance workers have hit the streets to get a jump on measures to prevent flooded streets.

However, Pleasanton city administrators have a plea for drivers this time of year: Please slow down near their workers.

Crews from Pleasanton's Operations Service Center are around town this month clearing fallen leaves from city trees -- many in medians and by roads, city interim director of operations services Kathleen Yurchak said. If drivers aren't careful, they could hit one of these workers, especially when it's raining.

"We just ask that people be patient," city environmental compliance manager Leo Lopez said.

Workers are clearing and vacuuming leaves from city trees that would otherwise wash into storm drains, blocking them and causing small floods in streets, Yurchak said. The work is part of the city's preventative measures ahead of winter rains and the expected El Nino, which is forecasted to hit California in January and could bring large amounts of rain.

However, it can be dangerous work because drivers don't always slow down when they're approaching these workers.

Workers have to step into the street at times to clear leaves. For vacuum trucks, which look like a trailer with a hose at the back, the workers behind the truck can be put in harm's way if a driver cuts off the vaccum truck.

"If that driver pulls off to avoid the hazard, they pull the person on that hose," Lopez said.

Yurchak also noted city employees are not responsible for clearing leaves that fell from residents' trees, so Pleasanton residents shouldn't blow their leaves from their lawn into the street. That will only lead to those leaves blocking storm drains, which will undo some of these efforts.

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