Daylight sweeping plan needs cleanup

City Council members Monday said they generally favor a staff plan to shift street sweeping to daytime hours, from what’s current mostly a nighttime schedule.

But they split on proposals to save money by reducing how often some streets are swept and to raise fines but eliminate the towing of cars to enforce street-sweeping regulations.

Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Suzette Eggleston said the daytime schedule could eliminate resident complaints that sweeping disturbs their sleep, and save some money by using staff more efficiently.

She said that while Evanston sweeps most of its streets at least every other week, many neighboring communities do it less often — from every three to six weeks.

Ms. Eggleston said towing generates many complaints, and she believed substituting increased fines would be just as effective.

But Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, opposed any cut in cleaning frequency, or the elimination of towing.

“The big problem is in the very densely populated neighborhoods. Some people clean their car out into the gutter. It’s just disgusting. If we don’t tow cars away, then we don’t get clean streets.”

The aldermen debated various ways to give people more effective reminders about when they need to move their cars for the street sweepers and asked staff to come up with a revised proposal.

Public Works Director David Jennings said he hoped a new program can be agreed upon soon, to give crews time to update street signs before sweeping resumes next spring.

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