Unswept Streets Local, Too

Some local motorists say they often receive parking tickets for failing to move their car, but rarely see street sweepers during the posted hours. Photo: Michael Dorausch / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent report by Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin indicated 2/3 of the city’s 14,000 curb miles of street are not regularly swept and it appears some of those missed sweepings are local.

“[I’ve] never seen a street sweeper and have lived here for four years,” said Samantha Hanks who lives on Ben Lomond Place in Los Feliz.

Additionally, local resident Jessica Creed, who has lived on Los Feliz Boulevard since 2011, said she’s never seen a city street sweeping truck either.

“I’ve never seen street sweepers on the boulevard and it’s filthy,” she said.

Other local problematic streets with no service or only receiving spotty service appear to include Valley Oak Drive, which one resident said has not been swept in 23 years, and Tamarind Avenue just north of Franklin Avenue.

The city’s street sweeping program works like this: About 35% of streets have posted street signs indicating when the street will be swept.

Another 11%, along busy streets and corridors, are swept early in the morning before rush hour. The remaining streets—more than half of those in the city—are swept only as resources permit—resources that have declined, according to Galperin, since 2008 due to city budget cuts.

Elena Stern, a spokesperson with the city’s Dept. of Public Works, however, disputed some locals’ claims, saying Tamarind Avenue and Ben Lomond Place are regularly swept.

“Neither of these routes has been missed during the past 90 days, meaning they have been swept weekly per the posted parking restriction,” she said in an email.

According to Stern, the other problematic local streets, such as Valley Oak Drive, are only swept as able.

“We are inspecting each of them and we will schedule a special posting if warranted,” she said.

As many know, parking tickets are written whether a street is swept or not.

“I [had] forgotten to move my vehicle a few times for street cleaning and was issued tickets despite the fact that on one of those days they did not street sweep,” said Allison Chaudoir, who lives on Franklin Avenue.

Chaudoir also said since paying the fines, she’s paid more attention and noticed street sweepers have not swept as posted a few days in the past couple of months on her street.

In his report, Galperin admonished the city, writing, “A world-class city deserves world-class streets,” and recommended the city install digital street signs that could be updated remotely with real time parking information.

Such signs would augment the city’s already approved pilot app program, which would notify residents when street sweeping is supposed to occur on their streets and when it has been completed.

“It is my hope that funding is identified expeditiously to allow the [app] program to move forward,” Galperin wrote.

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