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Signs of Spring – Residential Street Sweeping Starts Tomorrow March 1st

by Prince Of Petworth February 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm 11 Comments

street sweep
Photo by PoPville flickr user bajidc

From DPW:


Residential street sweeping season to continue through October 31.

The Department of Public Works announced today that residential mechanical street sweeping will resume Tuesday, March 1. 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. The fine for violating this restriction is $45.

“This program is critical to keeping the District clean,” said Acting DPW Director Christopher J. Shorter. “During the 2015 sweeping program, we achieved a 28% increase in the tonnage of litter and debris collected by touching nearly every District street at least once per month between March and October. Many of these streets had never received a sweeper cleaning. Additionally, we created a pilot deployment for the first shift to clean major inbound/outbound arteries before the start of the morning residential routes.

To help accustom motorists to the restrictions, DPW will issue warnings between Tuesday, March 1 and Friday, March 4, 2016 to vehicles parked during the sweeping periods. “We want to thank motorists in advance for keeping the curb lanes clear so the sweepers can clean the streets. Their cooperation is what makes the program successful,” said Director Shorter.

He added that a supervisor follows behind the sweeper and may require the block to be swept again, so motorists shouldn’t park until the end of the posted two-hour sweeping period. He also noted that parked cars may be towed to allow the sweepers access to the curbside. Generally, parking is prohibited for two hours (9:30 am to 11:30 am or 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm) while sweeping is underway, but where parking is allowed on only one side of the street, vehicles will be allowed to park on one side and the following day they may park on the other side.

Signs posted along street sweeping routes indicate the program runs from March 1 through October 31, but this will be the first year the long-range forecast will allow a March 1 start date. The sweeper emits a fine spray of water to help control dust so DPW does not operate the sweepers when the temperature is below freezing or snow or ice already are on the ground.

In FY 2015, DPW street sweepers covered about 26,000 miles of streets, removing litter and pollutants by brushing them onto a conveyor system, which transports the material into a debris hopper. In addition to sweeping residential streets during spring, summer and fall, DPW also sweeps commercial streets overnight year-round (weather permitting), and parking restrictions also apply.”

  • Jason

    If they are only sweeping streets once or twice a month, then why do we have to move vehicles every. single. week. Is it not possible to have someone, say the same person who issues tickets now, notify residents when their street will be swept?

    Full disclosure, I got a ticket for this and is seems like more of a revenue generating program via tickets than a publc cleanup program.

    • petworther

      And so begins the season of completely unreasonable and illogical complaints about street sweeping tickets. Bring it on.

    • JohnH

      I mean the act of street sweeping is a real thing. If it was voluntary to move your car, you wouldn’t do it and it would be pointless to street sweep.
      To be fair, I’ve forgotten to move my car and they did not come by that time – and I did not receive a ticket. Does that happen everytime? Probably not. Not sure the traffic enforcement knows what streets will and won’t be. I may not have received a ticket also because it was my first time. Or maybe they just never came by to enforce it at all.
      While this is a pain, it’s also not terribly difficult. Set a reminder on your phone if it’s that hard.

  • Grandpa of DC

    March 8 is on a Tuesday, Ticketing begins on March 7, a Monday.

  • Anonymous

    Honest to god question – do we even need street sweeping? We go 4 months without it, but it doesn’t appear to me that the streets are in awful condition. The street sweepers don’t even seem to pick up litter, stuff just gets “swept” toward the gutter. What’s the point of street sweeping? It seems like an unnecessary waste of money.

    • jcm

      I can’t speak for your neighborhood, but we need it in mine. The streets in my neighborhood are full of trash. Street sweeping can’t come back soon enough, as far as I’m concerned. And the machines do pick up most of the litter.

    • Kim

      You must not live in Columbia Heights. Street trash is basically ankle deep for the winter months. The Fort Totten dump has less trash flying around

    • We definitely need street sweeping, and I’d love it if they did it when possible in winter, too. Here in Columbia Heights, trash and litter accumulate in the gutter area, and broken glass and other random debris is in the bike lanes. Markings such as crosswalks, bike lanes, and turn arrows are obscured by dirt and grime. The streets really need a good spring cleaning!

    • Anonymous


    • Nathan

      We definitely need it. After having it suspended for nearly 2 years in Bloomingdale because of the DC Water project, I can tell you I’ve noticed a huge difference in the amount of trash.

    • Wobber

      we need it. Our neighbors, and visitors to our street, don’t know hoe to use a trash can.


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