When will street sweepers come?
If your street is like ours with lots of big trees, buds and seeds are creating virtual blankets in your gutters and much of the street.
I wondered last week about sweeping up all that debris. Of course, doing so might require another trip to the compost pile or demolition site in the city’s landfill. When might a street sweeper come and do the job for me?
I checked the city’s website and found this 2013 schedule for downtown and “main arterial streets”:
“The city schedules two days to complete a street sweeping cycle for downtown and main arterial streets. On the first day of the cycle, city crews typically sweep downtown parking lots and several main arterial streets. On the second day of the cycle, city crews sweep the remaining main arterial streets. The downtown and main arterial street sweeping schedule is as follows:
“First Cycle: April 4-April 5.
“Second Cycle: May 23-May 24.
“Third Cycle: July 2-July 3.
“Fourth Cycle: Aug. 29-Aug. 30 .
“Fifth Cycle: Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
“Sixth Cycle: Nov. 4-Nov. 5.”
Because I don’t live downtown and my street is no “main arterial,” I still didn’t know from this schedule when my street might get swept. So I sent an email to Peter Riggs, the city’s assistant operations director. He responded:
“Progress for residential street sweeping is a difficult thing to predict due to many factors, including staffing levels, other priority projects and the weather. The timing is so variable that creating a schedule would not create much value since it would be constantly changing. … We generally perform five cycles of residential sweeping each year. We will begin a new cycle of residential sweeping next week (that’s this week). Typically, that cycle will complete prior to the next downtown sweeping event, before the Fourth of July.
“Downtown sweeping is a much smaller task and easier to schedule. Downtown sweeping occurs roughly the same time every year, and they coincide with holidays. We just completed the second downtown sweeping event. The third downtown sweeping event will be before the Fourth of July holiday.”
The heavy rains we’ve already experienced today have sent many of these tree seeds and other debris down storm sewers—if those grates aren’t clogged. I hope the sweeper comes by our street soon, but rains might delay that process.
Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow him on Twitter or