Less ‘alternate-side’

Like adolescents to a compulsively neat parent, two elected officials are trying to reason with the city’s Sanitation Department, arguing that Fort Greene and Clinton Hill do not need twice-a-week street cleaning.

“Once per week is plenty,” claimed Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights), who is teaming up with Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) on a bill that would allow community boards to determine how often their neighborhood streets are cleaned.

The current, twice-a-week cleaning schedule means that residents sometimes must move their car four times a week (twice, if they park strategically). By contrast, Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope residents can enjoy the luxury of once-a-week driving and fewer chances to get a ticket.

“It’s a really crummy way to squeeze dollars out of New Yorkers,” said Yassky.

Yassky and James said they had to take such a drastic step because the Department of Sanitation is strongly opposed to the idea. In January, when The Stoop first reported on the issue, Sanitation spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said, “We have no plans to reduce the amount of street-cleaning in Fort Greene or Clinton Hill.”

“The only way to do it is legislate it in the budget process,” Yassky said.

Perhaps, but Yassky and James aren’t only fighting Sanitation — they’re also fighting some residents.

“I would rather not have our schedule changed,” said Susan Butler, a member of the Fort Greene Association and a motorist. “It gives me, as a driver, an opportunity to find a spot. There’s turnover, because alternate side of the street parking is four times a week.

“If alternate-side-of-the-street parking were less frequent, then some people might just park there and not move their cars,” she added.