Street sweepers will be out in full force starting this week, cleaning the roads of Lethbridge one neighbourhood at a time.
The annual street sweeping program will begin on Wednesday and continue for several months, with the city asking residents for their help in making their work more successful.
“What we’re trying to do is just get a nice, clean street — that’s what our residents and our customers want,” said Adam Campbell, transportation manager with the City of Lethbridge.
“So we ask people to move their cars just so that we can do the best job possible.”
Over the years, city officials said many areas have been left unswept due to parked vehicles blocking portions of the roads.
With thousands of pounds of buildup from sand, dirt and debris over the winter months, Campbell said these missed roadways can lead to damaging effects for the city.
“All of that debris gets into the stormwater system, which is something we don’t want to happen,” Campbell said.
“We put down the material to keep the streets safe in the winter and then the second part is to come back and clean it all up so that we have a nice, beautiful city.”
The city added that several measures are being taken to ensure that cars aren’t left in the way, noting it’s important for the public to be informed of upcoming sweepers in their area.
“Crews will come and they’ll set up signs at night, indicating what roads they’re going to be working on,” said Campbell.
“So there will be no parking signs set up at the start of the block, end of block and mid-block.”
The temporary no-parking zone highlighted by the signs will be in effect from 7:30 a.m until 4:30 p.m the following day.
Door hangers are also to be delivered to each area approximately one week before sweepers arrive.
With notifications given to residents ahead of time, Campbell said all those who do not move their vehicles will receive a $30 ticket as per the city’s traffic bylaw.
Officials, however, said they have seen a downward trend in fines given out last year compared to 2017, when the bylaw was first put into place.
“We did see a reduction of a couple hundred tickets, which is what you want to see,” said Dave Henley, senior bylaw officer with the City of Lethbridge.
“The goal of the street sweeping program is not to issue any tickets at all, it really is just to make sure the streets are clear so the sweepers can go through as efficiently as possible.”
This year, the sweeping will start in north Lethbridge before moving to the south and finally west neighbourhoods, with ambitions of wrapping up in July.
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