March Ė The Transition Month 

March can be a busy month, depending on your lifestyle (are you kiddingÖ every month is busy).  Itís the first day of spring month, and not any too soon either!  Most years, it seems to me, Marchís idea of spring is a warmer (hot) sun with a cold blowing wind.  So it is this transitional month brings a lot of activities, celebrations, time change, planning of outdoor activities and just getting out?  Oh, yes, itís time to start or finish up your income tax return.  Lent and Easter are in March.  The Irish are happy Ė so much you donít need to be Irish to enjoy a little St. Patrickís Day celebration.  For those not ready to go outside, the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament can fill the television set.  Again, you donít have to be a fan to join in the party.  This year, daylight savings time returns on March 9th.  With all these seasonal changes, itís time to start planning those outdoor activities you longed to do this winter and perhaps some leftover from last year.  Is it time to that home addition?  Perhaps a kitchen-redo or redecorating the main floor, etc?  Make part of your plan to check with City Hall for what permits you need.  We can explain what is needed, when, etc., once we have your plans. 

With the warmer weather, the season of grass growing, planting of flowers, etc., is not far away.  Nor is the arrival of unwelcome allergies and pests, i.e. mosquitoes.  As you may know, the City contracts with St. Louis County Health Department/Vector Control for service.  On a regular basis, the County larvicides certain bodies of standing, water, lakes, gullies, etc., in our City - especially those areas where the water becomes stagnant and larvae can breed.  They control the adult mosquito population by spraying based upon information primarily derived from mosquito surveillance information as well as other factors (your calls to City Hall).  Since West Nile Virus became established in the St. Louis area, the decision for treatment is based on the threat it poses.  Thus, your calls and other call for spraying are no longer automatic triggers for adulticiding (spraying) but are certainly considered.  If you are familiar with standing water on public land and/or easements and are wondering if those are routinely larvicided, call the City Clerk.  Annually, our City is given a spreadsheet by Vector Control Services showing the areas that are checked and treated.  We can help with mosquitoes but sorry, no help with hay fever or those other allergies that come with spring.  

Spring and summer are times for garage sales, too.  The City asks that you obtain a permit for your sale.  It doesnít cost anything.  The reasons for the permit -- itís a safety issue: 1) we will provide you with NO PARKING signs to be placed on one side of the street; 2) the police need to know the time and date so they will assist you with any problems.  The ordinance covering garage sales is on our website for your review.  Go to www.clarksonvalley.org, scroll down to the bottom, click on Sign Ordinance, it is Section 505.030.5 Garage Sales

More on safety Ė please take a moment and read the Bicycle Safety Article provided by our police (St. Louis County Police Department).  I know the warm weather hasnít come in to stay but itís good to be ahead of the curve. 

Your recycling of items continues to increase.  So now is the time to call 314-291-3131 to get a larger recycling bin.  Itís twice the size of your current bin and has a hinged lid.  Itís easier, too, because there are wheels to push it to the curb.

IS YOUR BIKE SAFE? 

Preventing accidents begins with a safe bike.  All bikes, even new ones, should be checked before they are ridden.  If you have any questions about maintenance or the safety of your bicycle, check with a bicycle shop. 

A-B-C QUICK CHECK 

This easy to remember safety check should be performed before each ride: 

A is for AIR.  Check tire pressure.  Tires should be inflated to the rated pressure noted on the sidewall.  Also check for damaged tires or wheels. 

B is for BRAKES.  Check the brakes for pad wear and adjustment.  Check cables and housings. 

C is for CRANK SET.  Check the crank set, which includes the bottom bracket and the chain. 

QUICK is for QUICK RELEASES.  Make sure they are all tight in the proper position. 

CHECK is for CHECK RIDE.  Take a brief, slow ride to check that your bike is in a safe condition. 

SAFETY TIPS 

BE SEEN.  Always wear a helmet and light colored clothing.  At night, use the minimum required lights and reflectors. 

BE PREDICTABLE.  A bicyclist is safest when following the same rules as a motor vehicle operator.  Ride with the flow of traffic.  Signal your intentions.  Think and look before you execute a maneuver. 

WATCH OUT FOR CARS.  Make eye contact to help communicate your intentions to drivers.  Anticipate a carís next move.  Often times, a driver of a car will not see a bicyclist until too late. 

Make repairs well off the road. 

Do not hitch rides by clinging to moving vehicles 

FOR YOUNG RIDERS 

Always let your parents know where and with whom you are going to ride. 

Be sure to let your parents know when you will return. 

Dismount and walk across streets with heavy traffic. 

Do not perform stunts on the street.  If you try stunts, try them in a safe area away from vehicles and use proper safety equipment. 

HELMET SAFETY 

Bicyclists who go without a helmet are seven times more likely to suffer a head injury in a crash. 

A cyclist who has a head injury is 20 times more likely to die than a bicyclist who suffers from any other injury. 

When worn correctly, the helmet should be level, covering most of the forehead, and all straps should be tight when the chin strap is buckled. 

To maximize a helmetís useful life, do not leave it in a car trunk or in the sun on a hot day. 

Regardless of its condition, a helmet should be replaced every five years. 

If you or your subdivision trustees are interested in a presentation on bicycle safety, please call City Hall.  All St. Louis County Police cyclists are certified through the International Police Mountain Bike Association.  The officers receive special training in police bike patrol and bicycle safety. 

TRAFFIC LAWS 

Clarkson Valley has regulations to help ensure the safe operation of bicycles.  Some of these general laws are: 

CAN YOU IDENTIFY YOUR BIKE? 

If your bike is stolen or lost, could you identify it?  The police will need the following information to help find your bike: 

MAKE      ________________________ 

MODEL   ________________________ 

COLOR    ________________________ 

SERIAL NUMBER ________________