(Washington, DC) The Department of Public Works today announced its decision to postpone the start of the 2014 residential street sweeping season to Monday, March 10, due to a heavy snow storm predicted for Monday, March 3. The employees who drive the sweepers are the same employees who drive snow plows and until the streets are clear of snow, the sweepers will be ineffective.
“In the District, the start of the street sweeping program is as much a harbinger of spring as jelly beans and crocuses,” said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. “We are disappointed that winter snow is forcing us to delay cleaning those streets that haven’t seen a sweeper since October 31.”
Director Howland suggested motorists use this extra week to familiarize themselves with the signs that designate which streets have restricted parking during sweeping hours. Signs are posted that identify the days of the week and hours of the day when parking restrictions will be enforced so the sweepers can clean the streets effectively. Parking enforcement of residential sweeping violations will begin Monday, March 10.
“The residential street sweeping program is among our most successful operations to keep DC streets clean,” said Director Howland. “We have expanded it over the years to accommodate more and more residents willing to move their cars to allow the sweepers access to the curb lane where debris and pollutants collect.”
Mr. Howland noted DPW established March 1 through October 31 in 2012 as residential street sweeping season and this information appears on the signs where the program is in effect. He asked motorists to obey the times parking is restricted. “A supervisor follows behind the sweeper and may require the block to be swept again, so don’t park until the end of the posted sweeping period,” he said. Beginning March 10, parked cars also may be towed to allow the sweepers access to the curbside. Generally, parking is prohibited for two hours while sweeping is underway.
DPW street sweepers cover about 4,000 lane miles monthly, removing litter and pollutants by brushing them onto a conveyor system, which transports the material into a debris hopper. The sweeper also emits a fine spray of water to help control dust. In addition to sweeping residential streets during spring, summer and fall, DPW also sweeps commercial streets overnight year-round, and parking restrictions also apply.
For more information about street sweeping, go to www.dpw.dc.gov.