By Jordan Frias
The City’s street sweeping program began Tuesday, March 1, in the North End, the South End and on Beacon Hill with strict enforcement of the street sweeping schedule.
The program, which begins citywide on April 1 for an eight-month or 10-month period, depending on the neighborhood, was delayed in these areas last year due to massive amounts of snow, Public Works Department Commissioner (PWD) Michael Dennehy said.
“Last March it did not work,” he said. “We still had snow banks three to four feet high.”
The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) also began enforcing parking restrictions related to street cleaning the day of March 1, with help from various towing companies. In years past, the City allowed a grace period in these neighborhoods to prevent massive ticketing and towing due to confusion over the street cleaning schedule.
Cars that are in violation receive a $40 ticket and an additional ticket if towed.
“We usually give that courtesy for about two weeks,” Dennehy said, “But this is the fourth year [of the program] and we had a very mild winter.”
North End Chamber of Commerce President Frank Depasquale said the street sweepers have done “such a great job in the past,” and he welcomes them back into the neighborhood.
“The street cleaning is so important to keeping our neighborhood clean and we’re excited about the city wanting to do this at least a few times a year. Anything for the betterment of the North End is good,” he told The Sun.
South Enders took to social media to rave about the earlier starting date this year compared to last, including Stephen Fox, chair of the South End Forum, the umbrella organization for all South End neighborhood associations.
“Being able to extend the street sweeping program gives us a major head of stream in begin able to facilitate our spring cleanup in a major organized fashion,” he said. “Because it is so successful, the South End is willing to be the pilot test neighborhood for year round street sweeping beyond a ten month basis.”
Rajan Nanda, Beacon Hill Civic Association’s Streets and Sidewalks Committee chair, said he and his fellow neighbors welcomed the return of the street sweeping program after its delayed start in 2015.
“It was a winter that was not conducive to early street sweeping due to the excessive amount of snow,” he said. “Hopefully this year will be different so they can reach the edge of the sidewalks, weather permitting.”