‘No Park Slope’ No More

Not tomorrow, or next week, but soon, residents in Brooklyn’s community district six can go about their day without worrying which side of the street they parked their car.

Following a battle between community residents and the Department of Sanitation that spans decades, the city organization in charge of street cleanliness granted a reprieve in alternate side of the street cleaning for the neighborhoods of community district six: Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook.

“We are finally getting what we were asking for for 20 years,” said community district six’s District Manager Craig Hammerman.

Currently, residential streets in most of the city, besides Staten Island and parts of Queens, are cleaned twice a week for three hours.

The neighborhoods surrounding Park Slope garnered the guarantee of less street sweeping from the Department of Sanitation after consistently scoring higher than 90 percent on the city’s street cleanliness scorecard program.
The scorecard program rates streets on a seven point scale: 1.0 is the cleanest rating and 3.0 is the dirtiest, with five intermediate cleanliness ratings. Only ratings below 1.5 are “acceptably clean.” The scorecard samples the average cleanliness of blocks to determine an average percent of street cleanliness.

Under the new program for community district six, cleaning will drop to once a week for 90 minutes on residential streets. Cleaning on commercial streets, like Court Street, Smith Street, Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue will occur six days a week for 60 minutes in segmented schedules.

Now the rest of the borough wants to follow suit. “We’ve only been pushing for this for 29 years,” said Brooklyn’s community board seven District Manager Jeremy Laufer.
“We have seen an increase in the percent of clean streets,” said Laufer, “and we would like consideration, equity and fairness when it comes to street cleaning.”

The same sentiment rings true throughout the borough. “Community board two is exploring the possibility of reducing street cleaning in the area. I’m trying to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish in the face of some resistance from the Department of Sanitaiton,” said Robert Perris, district manager of Brooklyn’s community district two.

In addition to Laufer and Perris, City Councilman David Yassky asked the residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg to “please help me keep pushing on the alternate side of street parking issue” at their community board meeting on Oct. 10.
So far, sanitation officials have not agreed to reduce the service in any other community districts.

“Moving my car is part of my daily routine,” said Greenpoint resident and car owner John Sakorai. “I get off the subway and before I even go into my apartment I have to move my car. I don’t see why our streets are so much dirtier that we would need street sweeping all the time.”

The city of New York made $70 million in revenue on alternate side parking violations last year.

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