Help Keep Your City's Streets And Waterways Clean By Parking Legally

Posted on: 16 April 2015

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If you live in a city that cleans its roads with street sweepers, heeding parking regulations doesn't just help you avoid a parking ticket. Following your town's rules about street parking will let sweepers come through and clean the streets, which, in turn, will also keep nearby waterways clean and healthy. Following local parking regulations might be inconvenient, but doing so will help the environment.

Street Sweepers Clean More than Streets

Street sweepers got their name for picking up debris off of streets. In addition to sweeping fallen leaves, branches, dirt, clothes and roadkill off of streets, they also clean up harmful chemicals. Citing a study conducted by the District of Columbia Department of Public Works, the California Department of Motor Vehicles notes that for every mile they cover, street sweepers pick up about:

  • 10 pounds of grease and oil
  • 3 pounds of phosphorus
  • 3 pounds of nitrogen
  • 2 pounds of heavy metals

Sweepers are removing these from streets, but the harmful chemicals wouldn't stay on roads forever. They would eventually enter local bodies of water, contaminating streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.

Thus, street sweepers clean more than just streets. Every time they drive down one of your city's streets, they're also keeping chemicals out of waterways, where it could harm fish, birds and swimming children.

Let Street Sweepers Do Their Job

Therefore, every time you park illegally and block a street sweeper, you aren't just risking getting a ticket. You're also preventing the sweeper from cleaning the entire street. Any chemicals that are left on the road near your car may eventually end up in storm sewers that flow into a nearby body of water.

Moreover, when you leave your automobile illegally parked, you aren't just preventing the street sweeper from cleaning the space your car is in. You're actually stopping the sweeper from cleaning three car-lengths worth of road, David Alpert says. For, street sweepers must take the length of a sedan to move away from the curb, and then they need an equal amount of space to move back next to the curb after they get passed your vehicle.

The next time you parallel park your car on city streets, take any nearby parking signs seriously. Even if you don't get a ticket, you may end up impeding a street sweeper's ability to keep the road, and by extension local waterways, clean. Parking legally is an easy way to help your city keep its streets and waterways clean.

To learn more, contact a company like USA Services of Florida with any questions or concerns you have.