As his crews get ready for today’s start to the six-week spring sweep program, Andrew Grant is up front about a new challenge they face this time around.
Because sending sweepers into neighbourhoods at a time when more Edmontonians than usual are at home means more vehicles than typical will be parked during the day on residential roads.
“Due to the large number of people isolating themselves at home, we anticipate that there will be more cars on the road than previous years,” says Grant, the City of Edmonton’s General Supervisor, Infrastructure Field Operations.
Want to make life a bit easier for a frontline worker? Please move your vehicle for the week that your neighbourhood is slated for sweeping.
Towing (no tickets) to give crews space
Moving vehicles ahead of time will decrease the number of cars that have to be towed to give crews the room to do their work. Tickets will not be issued. Whenever possible, vehicles will be taken around the block, not to impound lots.
Neighbourhoods with too many vehicles will get return visits.
“In some areas, where vehicle density is too high, to improve the cleaning, crews may skip that area and return on a notification basis throughout the summer,” says Grant.
“We’ll reasonably come back as many times as required to complete the street,” he says. “We strongly encourage that people do remove their vehicles during the week that is set out by the website.”
The spring sweep map outlines by week the schedule for crews to show up in neighbourhoods. But it’s not written in stone. The schedule will change depending on how much ground crews can cover every day.
Signs will go up in neighbourhoods with advance notice of the sweepers’ arrival.
The cleanup goes 24 hours a day. Residential roads are swept during the day, arterial roads at night. You can expect to see peace officers, flashing lights and blocked lanes on high-volume and high-speed roads.
Grant said “the City’s top priority remains the health and safety of City of Edmonton staff and all Edmontonians.”
Crews are taking steps to protect their own safety: following physical distancing, sanitizing surfaces in the vehicles (door handles, latches, steering wheel, radio buttons), washing hands frequently and staying home when feeling sick.
You will notice that crews are wearing respirator masks. The masks are standard equipment, and protect crews from airborne particulate (silica quartz) created by spring sweeping.
Looking better 🤗
At this time of the year, the city is never looking quite its best. The snow retreats to reveal the debris that has collected over the winter. This year’s spring sweep is happening at the exact right time.
“We look forward to starting these operations to ensure all of our roads are safe and clean for all Edmontonians to use,” says Grant.