Starting July 5, cars will have to be moved more than once a week
By Lori Ann Doyon with Kassondra Gonzalez
So many have been yearning for a return to normal. Months ago airplane passengers cheered midflight when told masks were no longer required, but there are those who still see the value in wearing a mask. Come the day after America’s birthday, most drivers won’t be celebrating the return of fully restored alternate side parking (ASP), but those who have seen litter pile up will cheer the increase of street cleaning.
The news that ASP was to return to a pre-COVID schedule came on April 18. This was the same day Jessica S. Tisch was named commissioner of NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY), she announced that alternate side parking will be fully restored beginning July 5, 2022. This is one part of an $11M investment in cleaner streets that will include year-round protected bike lane cleaning. Bike lane cleaning needs special equipmentand personnel, and during this summer a fleet of ten Micromobility Operations Machines (MOMs) will be put into operation. DSNY will have several dozen of these units in two different sizes by the end of next year.
“Environmental justice begins at the street level, and clean streets are vital to vibrant neighborhoods and our city’s economic recovery,” said DSNY Commissioner Tisch. She noted that “The partial suspension of ASP was a pandemic measure to let people stay inside, but it went on for far too long. The dirty little secret here is when ASP went to one day a week instead of two in practice it was like having no cleaning in lots of blocks in this city. That’s not for a lack of trying or care from the Sanitation Department. [It was because] too many people saw a once in awhile ASP ticket as the cost of doing business, so the policy change had a disproportionate effect on the amount of cleaning the agency could do.”
Kassondra Gonzalez conducted a poll in June to take the community’s temperature on this topic, here’s her report:
Across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and email polls, locals let their voices be heard on what they think about the full restoration of ASP. Of 38 total votes on all platforms combined, about fifty-five percent of participants voted that they are unhappy with the news and its inconvenience for drivers.
A community member on Instagram expressed concern with the cleaning times in northern Greenpoint being from midnight to 3 a.m., pointing to unreliable cleaning at these late hours and people being less likely to move their cars as a result. “I’d be fine with it coming back if the cleaning time on all sides around here were the same and during the day,” said Casey Fulgenzi.
One Facebook commenter, Chelsea Albucher, said that their concerns extend even beyond inconvenience. “It is an equity issue. Many higher income neighborhoods seem to only have one day a week and lower income have to move their cars two or three times a week, which I imagine is also leading to more penalties on households that can least afford [the penalties].”
About thirty-four percent of those who were polled said they were glad that ASP will be fully restored since more cleaning is better for the streets that are littered with trash. Only about eleven percent of people said that they are neutral, seeing both the good and bad sides as equal.
“I’m on the fence,” said Enrique Vasquez, data manager at St. Nicks Alliance. “I’m all for cleaner streets and I understand why we need to do it, but as a driver, I’m not happy I need to move my car.”
For more information on Alternate Side Parking or Street Cleaning call 311 or go to: https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-01011
This article was originally published on April 20, 2022 under the title: New DSNY Commish Amps Up Street Cleaning. The above incarnation has updated content.