Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Alternate side regulations may be changed



From the NY Times:

It is the New York City driver’s public shame — a sentence of solitary front-seat confinement levied against those for whom subways, buses and taxis are insufficient.

For at least 90 minutes each week, residents move their vehicles from their curbside berths, slide into formation behind a row of double-parked neighbors and moor together in a singular urban traffic jam, beholden to a hulking contraption whose distinguishing feature appears to be this: It swirls plastic bags and cigarette stubs briefly before returning them to the earth.

But the ignominy of alternate-side-of-the-street parking, which allows city workers to clean roadways without the obstruction of parked cars, could soon be eased. A bill that will have a hearing before the City Council on Monday would allow drivers to return to parking spaces once the street sweepers pass, causing a potentially significant reduction in wait times for those doomed to mornings in their cars.

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Democrat from Manhattan and the bill’s sponsor, said the legislation would prevent accidents by reducing the duration of double-parking; help the environment, with fewer cars idling or driving in search of spaces; and save New Yorkers “millions of dollars” in lost time.

The Sanitation Department has defended the current process — and, indeed, some residents made clear that if a street has not been cleaned in several days, it shows.

The department, which is expected to oppose the measure, also noted some potential complications with Mr. Rodriguez’s plan. Unlike its snow equipment, the city’s 450 mechanical street sweepers do not have GPS technology that could allow residents to track when the vehicles are gone.

And even if it were added, officials said, the technology has often proved unreliable, leaving department officials reluctant to depend upon it as a precise indicator of when a street has been swept.

The department added that streets were often revisited after an initial cleaning if illegally parked cars prevented the sweepers from cleaning thoroughly the first time around, a practice that would be upended if other cars were allowed to return immediately after the sweepers passed.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will this bill provide every single traffic enforcement officer with a device to know whether or not a street has been cleaned?

Where is the money coming for all this? Another boondoggle out of the city council.

Anonymous said...

Stupid. This should not be changed. Ya want streets that are even filthier? That's all this would accomplish.

Queens Crapper said...

I have yet to see a street sweeper actually remove any litter in the street. All it does is swirl it around. Half the time you can't tell that the sweeper even came through.

Anonymous said...

Sanitation is also charged with issueing tickets to those that feed pigeons, but they never do.

Anonymous said...

It's a scam so that an ineffective city government can fool dumb voters into re-electing them. It will never happen. It's a win/win move for the asshat politicians,when it fails he can say "I Tried, I'm fighting for you" and if it succeeds, well , he can say "Hey, I got this done" It won't pass simply because those summons generate too much revenue for a failing "Progressive" government. It's ALL about revenue folks, wake up.

Anonymous said...

I think the "second-sweep" is a fantasy.

DSNY opposes it as it will reduce, in theory, the number of tickets they write.

Unless the driver is doing a time-stamped video of the sweeper on the block, where's the evidence that get one a "not guilty" verdict after a summons is issued?

Loudrich said...

The reason why it swirls around is..they drive too fast. i think 20-25 mph is the max for them to work properly.

But 1 driver said to me years ago if they finish early they can go home early, so they speed.

Anonymous said...

DSNY doesn't write tickets for blocking street sweepers does it? Isn't that NYPD traffic agents?

Parking tickets are time stamped. If DSNY had a system to relay via a smartphone app when a block has been cleaned, not updating until a second pass has been made if necessary, this would be time stamped as well. It would be simple to compare the two if a ticket was issued in error.

Citywide all parking tickets are budgeted to bring in $518.7 million in FY 2015. That's less than one percent of the city budget. It doesn't even cover the cost of DSNY. And not all of those tickets are issued after a street sweeper passed, or even for violating ASP regulations at all. This bill might only reduce tickets by 5% or 10%. Or maybe not at all, as there are plenty of other illegal parking infractions that traffic agents could spend their time finding instead. This is small change as far as the city is concerned. It's not obvious that not wanting to lose a revenue stream is behind their opposition.

Crapper street sweepers are not just used for visible waste. They have been shown to be effective at reducing more than 50% of small particles, often significantly more, especially with a second pass, preventing this debris from entering the water during storms. In addition when vehicles drive by, especially larger vehicles moving at speed, they can kick up a lot of this debris. If you don't clean a street the air pollution from the debris a vehicle kicks up can easily be more hazardous than what comes out of the tailpipe.

Anonymous said...

I watched a sweeper come down my street yesterday. Speeding, of course. My daughter had pointed out some trash stuck to the curb moments before - her 4 year old eyes thought it was "a giant bird poop" - it was a white paper bag that had become plastered to the curb. After the sweeper sped down the block, followed by a cloud of dust, the white bag was 3 feet from the curb, 10 feet further up the block. It just moved the dirt. There was also a trickle of water along the path of the sweeper, not the wide swath of damp pavement like they used to leave.

Street cleaning is useless in most neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Crapper street sweepers are not just used for visible waste. They have been shown to be effective at reducing more than 50% of small particles, often significantly more, especially with a second pass, preventing this debris from entering the water during storms. In addition when vehicles drive by, especially larger vehicles moving at speed, they can kick up a lot of this debris. If you don't clean a street the air pollution from the debris a vehicle kicks up can easily be more hazardous than what comes out of the tailpipe.

Where are these "small particles" supposedly disappearing to when the sweepers pass? This is one of the most laughable things I've ever read here.

Queens Crapper said...

If this was the reason for the alternate sides, then the whole city would have alternate sides. It doesn't. The whole reason we have alternate sides is to encourage people who live within a certain distance of subways to give up their cars.

Anonymous said...

'Where are these "small particles" supposedly disappearing to when the sweepers pass? This is one of the most laughable things I've ever read here.'

They're vacuumed up.

http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm?action=browse&Rbutton=detail&bmp=99

http://stormwatercenter.net/Pollution_Prevention_Factsheets/ParkingLotandStreetCleaning.htm

'newer dry vacuum sweepers can reduce nonpoint pollution by 35 to 80%; and nutrients by 15 to 40% '

Anonymous said...

Those mechanical brooms pick up plenty, you should how much street dirt is collected when they dump.

Second passes rarely happen, mainly because people already are moving their cars back after the brooms have swept those lines (provided they moved at all). Also the predefined route and time windows that they need to be completed in make it nearly impossible. I wouldn't hold my breath on NYC streets passing a white glove test anytime soon.

I loathe alternate side parking just as much as the next person.

Anonymous said...

If this was the reason for the alternate sides, then the whole city would have alternate sides. It doesn't. The whole reason we have alternate sides is to encourage people who live within a certain distance of subways to give up their cars.

I absolutely believe that. When I lived 2 blocks from the N line in Astoria, we had alternate side 4 days a week. Now that I live in Auburndale, very close to the LIRR, we have it 2 days a week. I've lived elsewhere in Auburndale where we didn't have alternate side at all.

I'd really have to see what's vacuumed up (and how often they're emptied) to believe they're doing enough good to reduce pollution. I don't want to be outside when they go by because they kick up so much dust.

Anonymous said...

Anon the city council passed a bill a few years ago creating a mechanism to reduce ASP days in neighborhoods where streets are rated clean with a score greater than 90% and ASP is already twice a week or more. Go to your CB, council member, or start a petition if you want that done in your area.

Crappy areas with more traffic end up with dirtier streets that need to be cleaned more often. Why does everything have to be a conspiracy?