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Frequently Asked Questions-Mechanical Sweeping Changes

Why did you change street cleaning?
DPW adjusted its Mechanical Sweeping Program in 2008 on some residential streets. Action was taken after an exhaustive study the department conducted that suggested we can reduce the frequency of mechanical sweeper passes on some residential streets without making a significant difference in that street's cleanliness. In other words, we were using more resources than necessary to keep some streets clean.

Is this just a way for the city to save money?
We hope so! These changes are meant to keep the city clean in a more efficient and cost effective manner. We want to use precious taxpayer resources as best we can.

What exactly changed?
DPW changed the number of times the mechanical sweeping vehicle passes on some residential streets from four or five times per month to two times per month. The day and time that the street sweeper passes by has not change. DPW did not change its sweeping schedule on commercial corridors, downtown, and major arterials, or in dense residential areas. The department is committed to several street and sidewalk cleaning programs that work.

How will I know if and when my street is affected and when to move my car?
No parking due to street cleaning signs have been changed on streets where the schedule has changed.

What areas were impacted?
Changes began in late August 2008 and concluded in December 2008 in these neighborhoods.

Does this mean I will have to move my car less frequently?
Yes! If you live in an area where we made changes.

I usually sweep leaves and other sidewalk litter into the gutter before street cleaning. Now what do I do?
Sweep up all sidewalk litter and dispose of it in your black garbage bin, place recyclables in the blue bin and leaves and other yard waste go in the green composting bin.

The sweeper didn't clean in front of my building. What happened?
Sometimes, the sweeper cannot sweep because cars were not moved for street cleaning or tree branches prohibited the sweeper from reaching the curb. Log on to DPW's Bureau of Urban Forestry for information about tree pruning regulations.

Why don't we have a sidewalk sweeper on our block?
By law, the property owner or ground floor tenant is responsible for keeping the sidewalk immediately adjacent to their building clean and litter-free. The city employs neighborhood ambassadors to sweep sidewalks on some busy commercial corridors and the department uses green machines to sweep sidewalks downtown.

To report street cleaning or other issues, call 311 or submit a 311 service request online.

Last updated: 2/16/2010 10:05:24 AM