Street sweepers steer clear of Silver Lake street

Friday mornings usually brings a  noisy street sweeper to clean away the litter from the 2600 block of Riverside Terrace, a narrow Silver Lake street that winds around Allesandro Elementary School.  But, for the  last six weeks or so, Riverside Terrace has been quiet on Friday mornings as the city street sweeper has failed to make is regular appearance, said resident Silvia Cerna. Despite several calls and emails to the Bureau of Street Services and the office of Councilman Eric Garcetti, Cerna and her neighbors still don’t know what happened to that street sweeper or if it will return. One city worker suggested that  budget cuts and furloughs might be responsible for the missing street sweeper but wasn’t sure.

Meanwhile, litter has piled up near the storm drains and gutter in the sweeper’s absence. However,  while the sweeper has been away, parking enforcement officers continue to show up on Friday mornings, issuing citations to vehicles parked Riverside Terrace on street sweeping day. Cerna, in an email service request she submitted to Street Services, said:

“If the City has the man power to continue to issue tickets for parking violations, they should also comply and have street cleaned as scheduled since it is receiving revenue for a service that is not being provided.  This is not the fist time this has happened, and frankly it is very frustrating to have to live in a very dirty street where signs are posted stating the street is cleaned every Friday. “

A spokesman for Public Works Department said budget cuts may be to blame for the missing street sweeper, with crews focused on routes with posted signs; those without signs might have to wait two to 12 weeks before a sweeper comes by. But Cerna points out that her street has had Friday street sweeping signs for the past eight years.

Will the street sweepers return to Riverside Terrace tomorrow morning? Stay tuned.


  1. I live on Echo Park Terrace, the last street sweeper that went thorough here was over 15 years ago, and only because someone called to have it done.

  2. I’ve been trying to get help from anyone at Eric Garcetti’s office regarding litter, tagging and paint spills in Silver Lake on many of our main intersections, Sunset and Sanborn is especially bad, with no response what so ever. I’ve have been complaining about the state of our beautiful little town for a few years now. I’ve sent pictures of especially bad spots with no response. I know budget cuts are to blame for cut backs on regular cleanup but if things keep going the way they have been for the last few years imagine what things are going to be like in the next few years. Very very bad.

  3. if the city can”t sweep it it”s all about the people who live on this block and clean it up them selfs problem solved”

  4. Geesh. The city doesn’t actually know? Oy.

  5. There are a couple of types of sweeping routes that are done by the Bureau. One is a “posted route”, where the times for no parking are posted and will denote “street sweeping” and the day and respective hours where the sweeping should take place, these routes have the highest priority.
    The other is a non-posted route and are a “lower priority”.
    It is a combination of problems that affects the frequency of these sweeping routes.
    One issue is staffing; because only Street Services Personnel that have been trained and certified can operate a Motor Sweeper. It takes a commercial class B DMV license and the training. Due to the Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP), many of our qualified Operators have left and the Bureau must now depend on employees from other classifications who can be licensed and trained to work above their normal classifications, without the associated higher rate of pay. Which, by the way saves the City thousands every month, but are not being counted in the budget as savings.
    Another issue is the lack of operable equipment, which is due to the cutbacks, furloughs and layoffs of General Services Mechanics. This creates a backlog of repairs that affect the safe operation of the Motor Sweepers.
    Another issue is the furloughs. Because of Street Services employees being furloughed one day per two-week pay period, personnel has to be alternated as to individual furlough days, usually on a Friday.
    Management has to frequently decide on what routes will have to be sacrificed, in order that other routes get swept.
    In as far as the tickets are concerned, if a posted route has not been swept, the ticket is voidable. However, it must be verified by the Bureau that the route, for whatever reason, was not swept.
    The DOT can still issue citations, but the burden is still up to the motorist to verify, through the Bureau of Street Services, that the route was not swept.
    The number to the Bureau of Street Services Executive Office is (213) 847-3333

  6. Thanks for the info Mariscal. Thats good to know about the tickets. My street hasnt been sweeped in the two years since Ive lived here, but Ive managed to recieve parking tickets anyway. It never made any since to me, but I didnt realize I could try to fight it.

  7. They save money by not sweeping the street and make money by issuing you a ticket. That’s how you fix a budget crisis!

  8. The City of Santa Monica only tickets a car if it obstructs a street sweeper. Parking enforecement escorts the street sweeper. Once the sweeper passes you may park without fear of a ticket. Even if it is within the no parking time for street cleaning. SM is testing a photo ticketing system mounted on the street sweeper. In Los Angeles most street cleaning tickets are written without the service being performed. Time to change the ordances. A more civil LA please.

  9. If our council members face no accountability at the ballot-box why should we expect them to respond to constituents? In district 4, every councilman since 1929 has died in office.

  10. Street sweeping? I never even knew it was done in Silver Lake. I live on Benton Way, and we’ve never had this. Actually, I don’t mind, because then there’d be two days when everyone would have to move their cars. The street looks fine without it.

  11. There just aren’t enough parking spots available to accomodate all those who live on India St. and Echo Park Terrace. I used to live there and have over $200 in parking violations to prove it. 🙁

  12. @EPHillbilly
    “The City of Santa Monica only tickets a car if it obstructs a street sweeper. Parking enforecement escorts the street sweeper. Once the sweeper passes you may park without fear of a ticket.”

    Yeah that’s too much common sense for the average LA metermaid.
    On my block , which is from 10am-12 Noon on Thursdays, the sweeper comes almost always at 10:15. Long after they’re gone I have gotten tickets for parking at 11:50, 11:55 etc. Those a-hole officers in my neighborhood love to lay and wait.
    Who cares about properly addressing the city’s gaping budget when you can put a band-aid on it by ignoring common sense and civility.

    Funny enough my next door told me back where he’s from in Mexico, that issuing parking citations was a job that they gave to the mentally handicapped.

  13. I agree with most comments here about the City Council’s lack of accountability. The negligence and incompetence that’s been going on for years, has finally caught up with the City Leadership. All the wrong decisions are still being made in that practical solutions are being hampered by politics. As a result, the tax payers are getting less service for the same or more money, while the City Council forms a circle and points to the left. This is not a job for apathetic voters or timid citizenship. It’s time to get involved and utilize the ballot box. Enough is Enough!

  14. Maybe the street sweeper operator who covers Riverside Terrace has been on vacation for the last 6 weeks. The substitute just hasn’t figured out the entire route.
    Or maybe because of the recent storms the street sweepers have had a larger volume of debris to collect. When the operator finally gets to Riverside Terrace and his street sweeper is full, then he is doing the residents a favor in bypassing that end of his route.
    Or he could drive that street and simply redistribute the debris already there and add some more falling out of the catch.

  15. Whatever the problem for the past many weeks, this one past week there was no street sweeping citywide, including this street — and supposed to be no street sweeping parking enforcement this past week. That is because of the holiday, and I guess street sweeping took the entire week off citywide.

    As for all the weeks prior to that, well, that is bad. But I must say, I am not the least bit surprised to hare nothing done by Garcetti. Over the years, I have contacted his office a number of times for a number of serious matters — and they have always been completely nonresponsive — other than to add me to their weekly e-mail list for an e-mail promoting Garcetti. And this guy thinks he sound be mayor?! Let’s face it, his is a carpetbagger who moved into the district to run for the open Council seat, and his entire background is in international affairs — so what does he care about local matters. He just sees his council seat as a stepping stone to mayor, and from there either to senator (good for international affairs) or governor (good to step up to president or at least a cabinet office).

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