Leniency ending for street-sweeping tickets

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City forced to begin enforcing parking rules again
to keep debris from clogging storm drains
 
COVINGTON, Ky. – Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, the City has looked the other way as drivers ignored “No Parking” signs and left their cars to block efforts to “sweep” Covington’s streets.
 
No longer.
 
Come May 1, the City will resume issuing tickets to drivers who don’t move their cars long enough for the street sweeper to drive through and do its job.
 
The reason?
 
“We simply HAVE to be able to get to our streets and clean them,” said City Manager David Johnston, who is also executive director of the Covington Motor Vehicle Parking Authority. “It’s not just so our streets can look good, although that’s important. Federal environmental regulations require that we keep litter and debris from washing into the storm drainage system, and we’ve been unable to do so.”
 
The debris not only contaminates rain runoff that eventually becomes drinking water but also clogs the system and causes backups. Separately, dirt that collects in crevices in gutters sprouts weeds whose roots cause infrastructure damage that costs City taxpayers to fix.
 
The City typically cleans its more visible commercial routes once a week throughout the year and its residential streets three times a year, doing one side of each street at a time so residents can park on the other side.
 
The spring cleaning began April 1, but it hasn’t gone well. The City’s appeal for cooperation through emailed notices, news releases, and social media posts, as well as signs posted in neighborhoods, has been largely ignored.
 
Public Works crews repeatedly have had to drive around cars left parked along curbs, leaving some streets virtually untouched by the street sweeper, leaving gutters filled with last fall’s leaves and litter, dirt, weeds, gravel, and chips of concrete that accumulated over the winter – all of which will eventually wash into storm water lines.
 
The sweeper operates 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. but is generally finished before lunch.
 
Residents have two ways to find out the day they need to move their car: Signs posted nearby, and an easy-to-navigate online page.
 
Signs: Streets in the commercial district that are swept weekly have permanent signage. On residential streets that are swept seasonally, crews put up temporary “parking restricted” signs on the business day before.
 
Online: To find out what day you need to move your car, type in your address where indicated on this page, HERE. You will see two dates. One date corresponds to the north or east side of your street (depending on which way it’s aligned), and one corresponds to the south or west side of the street.
 
Car owners who expect to be on vacation during the year can check ahead of time.
 
The City suspended ticketing at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, mindful of the fact that daytime parking spots were harder to come by because many people were being told to work from home or stay home. But those restrictions are slowly being eased.
 
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