This summer, as in summers past, the City of St. John's has been providing street cleaning services through much of the city. A couple of measures are taken by the City to inform car owners of the dates their streets will be cleaned, but many miss this information, leading to a big problem:
Lots of cars are being ticketed each night, and few streets are being appropriately cleaned.
I sit on the City's Police and Traffic committee, and at yesterday's meeting (July 9th), I raised this issue with councillors and staff who sit around the table.
There seems to be a simple solution to the issue of people not knowing where to park their cars at night to avoid a ticket: put signs up each day on the streets that will be cleaned. They do this in the winter for snow clearing, why not in the summer?
The reason the City does not do this is because it incurs a high cost of manual labour. So the measures taken are to send out a full street cleaning schedule in the spring, post the schedule online, and send out email notifications each day (sign up for those here).
My issue with the notifications is that they are often confusing: people can't always park right in front of their house, so this means they have to keep track of multiple streets to know where they can and can't park. The list of street names is alphabethical (not in order of location), monotonous, and simply not as clear as it could be.
So I made a suggestion: Send out a visual map identifying which streets will be cleaned each night. That way people can simply say "Ok, my house is here, and now I can see which streets (and which sides) will be ticketed tonight."
Maybe it could look a lot like this:
This map is based on actual streets listed in the July 3rd, 2013 street cleaning schedule.
The committee seemed responsive to the suggestion, and perhaps it will make its way to Council for approval. What do you think? Will this work? Is there a better way?