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Lethbridge vehicles blocking street sweepers will be ticketed in 2017

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge to begin annual street sweeping'
Lethbridge to begin annual street sweeping
WATCH ABOVE: Street sweeping is set to begin April 10, and once again the city is asking for your help. Lots of notice will be given to get your vehicle off the street, and if you don’t, you’ll pay the penalty. Joe Scarpelli reports – Apr 4, 2017

Tyler Maier has been operating a street sweeper for the City of Lethbridge for 10 years. But no matter the experience, he admits having to manoeuvre around vehicles makes his job difficult.

“It’s awful—you can’t do your job proper,” he said.

Last year, in an attempt to clear the way for Maier and his fellow operators, the city towed vehicles at its own expense. It was a pilot project that cost the city about $20,000.

“Our hope was that by doing this, residents would see the effort that we were putting into it and would help us a little bit,” said Lee Perkins, the transportation operations manager for the City of Lethbridge. “But as it went on, it became very arduous and very difficult to maintain the schedule for the street sweepers, so we had to discontinue.”

This year there will be no courtesy tows. Those who fail to cooperate will be ticketed $30.

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Street sweeping begins April 10 on the north side, followed by the west and south sides. About a week before a neighborhood gets swept, door hangers will be handed out in the area. The night before, reminders will be placed on windshields and bright yellow “no parking” signs will be put out.

“There should be no reason this year that people are not aware that we are coming to street sweep,” Perkins said.

The city says it cleans thousands of tonnes of sand, dust and other debris from about 540 kilometres of roads each spring, helping to keep the Oldman River clean, while also reducing dust.

“This is one of our positive environmental impacts by cleaning up the streets as fast as we can,” Perkins said. “The more vehicles that are out of the way, the faster we can get this program done and move onto other maintenance items.”

Maier admits the job can get hectic sometimes, but said it does have its rewards.

“It’s kind of gratifying at the end when you see the streets clean.”

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