Frank O’Brien, Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Public Works, recently addressed members of the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association Clean Streets Committee meeting on the City’s plans to extend mechanical street cleaning in the North End through the four winter months starting on December 1.
O’Brien made it perfectly clear that mechanical street cleaning will happen as a pilot program that will be evaluated sometime this spring. He also made it clear that mechanical street cleaning is the only way to get the job done properly.
While residents suggested using DPW workers to manually clean the curbs, O’Brien noted, "The DPW budget doesn’t have the funding" and he reiterated that "mechanical street cleaning is the proper way to get the streets clean."
Many residents told O’Brien that the streets are in deplorable conditions because of improper trash placement.
Committee co-chair Naomi Paul reminded residents that DPW has done a mailing to landlords explaining the trash rules and regulations and the committee has handed out flyers throughout the neighborhood stating the same rules and regulations.
The committee also recognizes a business or a resident monthly with a good neighbor award for continuously cleaning the sidewalk and curb in front of their place of business or home.
The committee also has a website that depicts the trash policies and provides continuous information to the Regional Review and Matt Conti’s community website.
O’Brien advised residents that a full scale information campaign to announce the winter program will be undertaken the first week of November. He noted, "All the signs will be changed to reflect the street cleaning schedule."
In addition, DPW will do a mailing, distribute flyers, advertise in local papers and continue to brief residents at community meetings.
"During inclement weather the street cleaning will be cancelled and residents will be informed through e-mail or the Mayor’s Hotline 617-635-4500," O’Brien said. "During the first two weeks DPW will only issue warning tickets," he added.
The big issue raised by residents was moving their cars to places that don’t exist.
O’Brien said, "Once the street is cleaned vehicles can immediately park on the street."
One resident suggested using convicts to help with the street cleaning. "I don’t think most residents and/or businessmen would like to see inmates on the streets," O’Brien said. In addition it might be a union problem.
The next Clean Streets Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 16 at 7pm in the Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street.