It is the peak of summer, but the City’s Public Works Department and NEWRA’s Clean Streets Committee are planning for possible year-round street cleaning starting this winter. Currently, mechanical street cleaning ends in November for the winter months until the following April.
Responding to resident and business complaints of dirty streets during the winter months, city officials are considering a pilot program for the North End neighborhood this winter that would continue the street cleaning year-round on the same schedule.
District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina will raise the issue at an August budget meeting. LaMattina and Frank O’Brien, from the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) introduced the concept at July’s NEWRA Clean Streets Committee meeting.
Towing of cars would be enforced on the posted scheduled street cleaning days during the 8:00 am to 12 noon period. Each street is scheduled for cleaning every other week or roughly 2x per month. According to DPW, once the sweeper passes through, residents can once again park their cars on the street. There are some details to work out regarding how the city would communicate when winter snows would cancel the sweeping. The department has a “No-Tow” email system already in place at: http://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/sweeping. After a resident signs up for their particular street, the system sends out reminders and cancellation emails before the scheduled street cleaning day.
Not all residents spoke in favor of the plan. Leslie Parker said the program “sounds like a nightmare. I look forward to November when I know I don’t have to move my car.” O’Brien responded that he knows the towing “is not popular, but what are the alternatives? Having a street sweeper in the middle of the street doesn’t help anyone.”
NEWRA Clean Streets Committee Co-Chair, Naomi Paul, said the committee will make the proposal a top agenda item for discussion at the August 17th meeting. (See the Community Calendar.)