‘Tis the Season for Street Sweeping

By Hunter Clauss | Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Photo by Matt Patterson.

Watch where you park because today marks the first day of the street-sweeping season, which has been the topic of discussion at City Hall. Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th) said his office will have a schedule posted on his?Web site soon.?A spokeswoman for Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th) said a schedule can be found through the alderman’s Web site.

This year’s street-sweeping schedule has been changed at least two times in the past couple of days. The mess started last week when Mayor Daley announced streets would be cleaned according to a new grid-based system, which didn’t go over well with some members of the City Council. Traditionally, each ward received its own street sweeper that was controlled by the alderman and ward superintendent. Under the new grid system, the city’s fleet of street sweepers would have been controlled by the city’s department of streets and sanitation.

Daley claimed the restructuring would help cut costs while remaining efficient, but some aldermen disagreed. Schulter said he had concerns about the effectiveness of a grid-based system.

“We’ve got to make sure we deliver services to the people we represent,” said Schulter.

Not pleased with Daley’s plan, aldermen Joe Moore (49th), Willie Cochran (20th), and Ricardo Munoz (29th) called for a special session of the City Council, which met yesterday. But days prior to the meeting,?Streets and Sans commissioner Tom Byrne told aldermen he was abandoning the grid plan and would implement a comprise of the two systems. Aldermen now get to control a street sweeper for four days a week, but the number of sweepers has been reduced to 40.

“I’m willing to give it a try,” said Moore. “But the devil is in the details. We’ll have to see how this plan works.”

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