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Williamsburg to city: Our streets are clean enough

Some Williamsburg residents say their streets are clean enough for less street sweeping, but this pigeon disagrees.
The Brooklyn Paper / Allyse Pulliam

North Brooklynites are demanding a reduction in street cleaning — and with it a cut in the number of days that drivers must shuffle their cars due to alternate-side parking regulations.

Williamsburg and Greenpoint’s Community Board 1 has called on the city to decrease the frequency of street cleaning from four days per week to two days per week on streets deemed “acceptably clean,” and shorten the amount of time that drivers can be ticketed for parking on the wrong side of the street on dreaded alternate-side days.

In areas where four-day-per-week street cleaning would continue, the board wants the city to reduce the amount of time that car owners can be ticketed from 90 minutes to 30 minutes.

“In some areas, the current rules have become onerous and unnecessary — wasting residents’ time and patience, as well as taxpayer dollars,” the board wrote to Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty on June 9.

“A good portion of our community board does not require four-day-a-week street cleaning, and parking regulations should be changed to reflect that,” the statement continued.

City statistics back up the claim.

Over the past four years, the percentage of “acceptably clean streets” in North Brooklyn has steadily increased from 83.7 percent in 2004 to 93.8 percent in 2008.

The neighborhood group urged the city to “shift resources from overly clean” parts of Williamsburg and Greenpoint to dirtier areas in North Brooklyn that still require four-day-per-week street cleaning — but that could put the entire proposal in the trash.

In the past, the Department of Sanitation has only lessened street cleaning throughout entire community boards — not specific portions of them.

For its part, the city told The Brooklyn Paper that it was considering CB1’s proposal.

“We are aware of the request and we are reviewing their letter,” said Sanitation spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins.

Supporters say that reduced street-cleaning hours will save taxpayer dollars.

“It also saves citizens from headaches because it means that they won’t have to move their car four times a week unnecessarily,” said Evan Thies, a City Council candidate who is also the chairman of CB1’s Environmental Protection and Solid Waste Management Committee.

Williamsburg and Greenpoint aren’t the first neighborhoods to request reductions in street cleaning.

Last month, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill joined Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, and Red Hook in receiving reductions in street cleaning — as well as a lengthy parking holiday without any alternate-side regulations while the city updates signage.

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