It seems that when Sunset Park residents pressure city agenciesfor something – say, a high school of their own or traffic signs tocombat speeding – the long wait for a response makes the positiveresponse that much sweeter.
After nearly 33 years of pushing, the community has receivedword from the Department of Sanitation (DOS) that its request for anew alternate-side street cleaning plan that includes feweralternate side hours – freeing up more curbside space for neededparking on more days — has been approved.
The letter arrived on Monday, July 11, two weeks after CommunityBoard 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer received a heads-up phonecall.
Because we’ve achieved 90 percent cleanliness ratings for twostraight fiscal years, within the law, we had the right to petitionfor a reduction in street sweeping days, said Laufer.
As to why the request took so long to be approved, he explainedthat, We’ve had [those] ratings for a while, but didn’t have thelaw on our side, codifying how a community can reduce [sweepingfrequency].
The law Laufer is referring to is Local Law 30 of the city’sAdministrative Code, which went into effect in mid-March of thisyear. The DOS will now begin developing the plan, and its Bureau ofCleaning Operations will present the new plan to CB 7, which willresume public meetings this fall.
There is no timetable mentioned in the DOS letter to CB 7 onwhen that study – which will suggest what streets and days will seereduced traffic from street sweepers – will be completed. When theschedule is created, though, it will then be sent to the Departmentof Transportation for updated signs to be made and installed.
The letter does, however, remind CB 7 residents thatmaintaining a clean neighborhood requires everyone’s activeparticipation and lists ideas for how CB 7 members can getinvolved. These include anti-litter outreach and reminders toregularly sweep [your] sidewalks and the area 18 inches into thestreet outside homes and stores.
People need to be aware that this is something we could lose,said Laufer, explaining that also in the law granting residents theright to petition is the clause that if we fall below 90 percentcleanliness for three straight months, the DOS can revert back tothe previous sweeping schedule.
So with this right – and it is a right – this is aresponsibility that we have to keep our streets clean, hesaid.