From April Fools' Day to the end of November, eight months of the year, Boston Department of Public Works street sweepers ply the roads and avenues of Boston and Fort Hill. The day after the end of the March Monsoons, street sweepers were spotted on Centre Street in Roxbury and, during a quick shopping trip, on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.
Residential sweeping—and enforcement—starts in earnest on Monday. It will be interesting to see whether Boston engages in a paroxysm of towing on Fort Hill as they did last year, or whether this season of street sweeping will be introduced with only a plague of tickets.
Whichever method is chosen, there will be some very surprised and unhappy residents and commuters in the early days of next week.
The DPW publishes its street sweeping schedule from a remarkably obtuse user interface. The Search by Street Name feature, which is what the average user really wants, is grayed out and not yet implemented. Instead one has to either paw through the entire street sweeping schedule of a particular DPW district, assuming one knows what district contains the desired street. The best way to manage this cumbersome list is to use the browser's search (usually Ctrl+F) to find your street .
Otherwise, one must choose an ordinal number (sic, 1st through 5th!) and one or more days of the week. If you choose just a day of the week your query returns no results. This form seems it would be more interesting to DPW personnel than to Peter Parker.
In a nice touch, the Boston DPW provides the street sweeping schedule for the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation. This information is also available at the DCR's own web site.
Using the same clumsy interface the DPW offers email reminders.
It is hard to know whether to congratulate and encourage Boston for offering this information on the web at all, or whether to wonder how many years it will take for IT in this little corner of www.cityofboston.gov to catch up to industry standards.
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