Parkers’ delight: Street cleaning rules suspended - ‘This is the best news ever,’ motorist declares

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The French might have Bastille Day, the Americans Independence Day, and the Canadians, the aptly named Canada Day.

But in Park Slope, a new holiday could emerge on May 19.

That is the day when the city will be officially amending its street cleaning regulations in the neighborhood, ending a 20-year struggle.

As the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) installs signs with new, reduced regulations, street cleaning regulations will be suspended.

The suspension will stand until “further notice,” the agency said.

In some cases, the agency said, residential street cleaning parking restrictions will be shaved from three-hour intervals to just 90 minutes, and from twice a week to once a week, “to ease parking for local residents,” the agency said in a statement.

Fewer days devoted to street cleaning means less time moving cars and endlessly circling a block in search of that elusive parking spot.

On commercial roadways, some streets will be cleaned more often and regulations will be better coordinated to help ensure curbside parking for shoppers.

The regulations will take effect once the sign changes are completed.

Similar conversions and temporary suspensions of alternate side parking rules are in store for Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook.

The agency did not give a timetable for the switch.

For the past two decades, Community Board 6, which includes the affected neighborhoods, has lobbied the DOT to change the regulations, which inconvenienced drivers and didn’t necessarily make the streets cleaner.

In September, when Craig Hammerman, the board’s district manager, first heard the city was amenable, he was effusive. “This is really the best news ever,” he said.

The board, which represents Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, Gowanus, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, and the Columbia Street District, had long insisted that more street cleaning didn’t necessarily make a roadway cleaner.

The board looked at city data for a pilot area bounded by Union Street, 4th avenue, 15th Street and 7th Avenue, where the number of street cleaning days were reduced.

It found that while a short-term drop in the level of cleanliness was experienced at the beginning of the pilot program, street cleanliness levels recovered, and continued to climb.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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