Frank O’Brien, Principal Administrative Assistant for the Department of Public Works, told residents at NEWRA Clean Streets Committee meeting that the City is looking into adding additional streets to its posted Mechanical Street Cleaning Program.
“Many residents have requested that DPW add several streets to the program,” O’Brien said. “No parking and one-sided streets will most likely be included and signs will be posted when cleaning goes into effect.”
On the subject of placing more litter barrels on the street, O’Brien noted,” That the current barrels in the North End are mainly used for household or commercial trash, that is stuffed into them or left beside them creating a major problem that doesn’t appear to be going away but getting worse. Additional barrels would not solve the community problem.”
He also noted that there is only one full-time cleaner on foot assigned to the North End, the second cleaner was for the summer months The street cleaning program will be in effect through December and will shut down January and February. The program, weather permitting will start again in March of 2012 according to DPW. Cleaning takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The committee discussed numerous new ideas and how to rekindle some old programs but nothing definite was suggested for the immediate future.
Chairperson Dave Grant presented a long list of past and future items for discussion. “We need to identify at least three items or programs for the committee to adopt and attempt to put in place.”
Committee members suggested renewing the “Ten Minutes with a Broom Program” which would require the business community and residents to sign-up as members to voluntarily commit to clean in front of their homes or place of business for ten minutes each day.
The last time the program was put in place, 85 people reportedly signed up, but it is not really known if those people actually did the clean-up or if they continue to do so.
Committee members thought the Smoke Pods Program sponsored by the North End Chamber of Commerce be returned because the streets and sidewalks were cluttered with cigarette butts.
The last time Smoke Pods were placed in front of several North End establishments they were stolen and never replaced.
Residents expressed major concerns that commercial trash is left all over the streets and sidewalks during removal adding to the community’s rodent problem.
There is still a rodent problem in the North End. Trash and dog droppings left on the streets improperly is the main cause,” Anne Pistorio said.
“Block Party Clean-Up Program, where residents along with the City, can target different streets for clean-up each week may help,” NEWRA President Stephanie Hogue suggested.
More educational information programs are needed, especially when students are moving into the community.
Many of these and other programs have been tried over the years, but there still is a trash and rodent problem in the neighborhood according to residents who attended the Clean Streets Committee monthly meeting.
The committee did however select its Good Neighbor of the month recipient, LoConte’s Restaurant on Salem Street. The eatery was chosen for its continuous cleaning debris and clutter from the sidewalk and gutter in front of their place of business.
The next committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 13 at 7pm in the Nazzaro Community Center.