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Calgary street sweeping program is set to begin

Calgary residential street sweeping begins on Monday, and city officials are asking residents to pay attention to the neighbourhood signs.

Sweepers will begin collecting debris on Calgary roads beginning Monday, April 17 going right through until the end of June, the city said. Street sweeping will take place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The City is asking people to use their back lanes, driveways and garages as alternate locations for parking.

“The success of the program is a collaboration between The City and Calgarians,” said Chris Hewitt, maintenance manager for mobility.

“We thank you for removing vehicles off the street during the parking ban. It’s also a good reminder that if you have front collection on sweeping day, you should place your black, green and blue carts on your lawn or the grassy boulevard.”

The budget for this year’s spring cleanup is $7 million.  More than 16,000 lane kilometres of roadway. Major routes are swept in the overnight hours, the city said.

Every year the amount of salt and gravel on city roads is different, depending on the type of snowfall and general weather, Hewitt said.

“We did use a lot of gravel this year. On a normal spring cleanup we’lll sweep up to 50,000 tons of material off of roads,” he said.

Nine crews of three sweepers are working nearly 24 hours a day to churn through the city’s roadway system.

Some of the material ends up in city landfills, and some of it is recycled. It is often used in the materials buckets at Calgary fire station, Hewitt said.

See a sign – don’t park on the street in that time

Calgarians will be able to find their scheduled sweeping dates by visiting the city’s street sweeping portal. Citizens can also sign up for email and text notifications.

Calgary Parking will be out there to help ensure ease of passage for street sweepers. Camera-equipped vehicles will enforce temporary parking bans in the city. Parking officers will also be validating the bans by ensuring signage is easily visible to area residents, the city said.

“A good reminder to avoid a ticket is keep your vehicle off the road for the duration of the ban, as street sweepers will make multiple passes,” said Todd Sullivan, Leader, Parking Patrol and Investigation at Calgary Parking.

“We coordinate our enforcement with Mobility to ensure our camera cars and sweepers are working as closely as possible.”

Sullivan said that parking compliance depends on the area of Calgary. They do hope to see compliance up this year, he said. It’s not about being a revenue generator for the city, but to help expedite the sweeping process.

“We joke about it every year, but if we get out and issue no tickets during sweet street sweeping we would consider that to be a massive success,” Sullivan said.

Hewitt said the community order will be the same as it was done last year, though it does rotate from year to year.

When asked if the street sweepers could be named – like the city’s snowplows – Hewitt said they could.

“We don’t have plans to name the sweepers but I don’t see why we wouldn’t do it,” he said.