Council sweeps away street cleaning signage, new policy to be prepared

April 21, 2004
Santa Paula City Council

Concern that signage showing parking restrictions based on street cleaning schedules is misleading led the City Council to sweep away the signs while a new policy is crafted.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesConcern that signage showing parking restrictions based on street cleaning schedules is misleading led the City Council to sweep away the signs while a new policy is crafted.At the April 5 meeting City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said the city received a complaint in January that the actual use of sweepers did not match the posted schedules on several city streets.The signs were “Intended for a good thing but we found that the signs were misleading,” said Public Works Director/City Engineer Cliff Finley.According to Finley’s report, staff had determined areas in the city where excessive street parking restricted the ability to sweep twice monthly. Signs that were installed noted specific days – the 1st Monday of the month as an example - and hours that parking was restricted.“These signs were eventually abandoned as our citizens complained that they should not be required to know which day of the month (i.e. 1st Monday) they are not allowed to park,” noted Finley’s report.New signage that identified the day and hour were non-specific to which day of the month: “The result of this signage was that people moved their cars on days when the street was not scheduled for sweeping.”
Adding to the problem was that street sweepers serving posted areas were followed by SPPD Community Service Officers who would issue citations to illegally parked vehicles on the day they interfered with street cleaning.“Sweeping is a good thing but we have to step back and look at the whole schedule,” said Finley. “Staff proposes that we remove the signs on an interim basis,” while a comprehensive schedule and signage are crafted for council adoption.The city sweeps residential street curbs within a two-week schedule, weekly in commercial districts, a schedule that far exceeds the Ventura County Storm Water permit that sets the guidelines to keep trash out of the storm drains.“We used to have one guy that swept every street in town everyday and even hit Main Street,” said Councilman Rick Cook, who suggested that more sweeping be considered.Cook also noted that street sweeping personnel are a good source for reporting abandoned vehicles and other public nuisances.Vice Mayor Mary Ann Krause said that when she was a resident of Ojai the street was only swept once over a five-year period. “It’s such a joy to have the streets swept once a week I’d hate to see us do it any less. . .”Residents also have a responsibility to keep their neighborhoods clean and should be proactive in cleaning the area outside their homes, noted Mayor Gabino Aguirre.



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