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You Ask, We Answer: 'No Parking' Signs

Why are the 'no parking on street sweeping days' signs covered up?

Reader's question:

All of the no parking on street sweeping days signs are covered in black plastic. At first I thought it was for the Central Ave. construction, but they are everywhere. What is happening? Can we park legally on sweeping days? Really, I mean can we park and not get a ticket? I have already given to the city a couple times.

Alameda Patch's answer:

According to the Public Works Department, the black plastic "hoodies" are legit. , a process that protects the street pavement and seals any cracks and patches in the street. Street sweeping in the area is on hold while the work is under way — about two more weeks.

We didn't really get an answer to the parking citation question from the harried DPW staffer we spoke with, but you should be safe as long as the plastic covers are in place. (However, Patch will NOT pay your fine if you do get ticketed!) 

Cautionary notes: watch for "no parking" signs where the sealing is under way or about to start. And microseal is very sticky when fresh. It takes about four hours to dry. Avoid sneaking into closed-off construction areas, or be prepared to spend a lot of time cleaning your shoes, tires, etc.

Have a question about Alameda? We'll try to find an answer. Ask your question in the comments section below, or email to dixiemjordan@gmail.com.                          

Producer June 22, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I think we need to drastically reduce street sweeping in Alameda, or at least during non-Winter seasons. It's unnecessary and a waste of city money.
virgo June 22, 2012 at 09:12 PM
so i lived in SF for a couple years and noticed that they do street sweeping very differently than us. they only have a 2 hour window for it and they have what i call the "meter maid brigade" where about 4 parking enforcement officers drive in front of the street sweeper and ticket any cars that are still parked there. once the sweeper goes by, people are allowed to park there again without getting a ticket. it makes sense because why leave the spots empty if the sweeper has already come through? i think alameda should start doing this.
Michael June 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
You would think that after all the recent debacles the City would have learned the importance of informing the community before it took action.
Lisbeth Allen June 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Street sweeping in Alameda is largely a wasted effort. My home gets swept once a week, or at least according to the schedule. On my street we don't have to move our cars, and they still sweep. I happened to be off on a scheduled sweeping day and I was outside. There is space for two cars in front of my house. It was empty of cars, and in addition there are driveways on either side. I thought woo hoo! they are actually going to clean the front of my house for once. I watched the sweeper swoop in and swoop out. Nothing got cleaned whatsoever. The machine is simply too big. Alameda needs smaller machines like those in European cities, or even better like Barcelona where they actually have live people raking the streets. I don't understand the purpose of paying someone to drive around all day on an expensive piece of machinery that does nothing.
Claire Bonde June 23, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I agree that the street sweeping is excessive here. It is one of several things that shocked and surprised my family when we moved here 4 years ago from the Northeast. Every single week, and there is no appreciable difference in the cleanliness of the streets. Can anyone explain why it happens so often?
Producer June 23, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I can understand certain streets like Central Ave or Gibbons needing it but, like Claire asked, why do we have this wasteful "service"?
Mark Irons June 23, 2012 at 08:03 PM
admittedly sweeping streets without parking restrictions seems lame and of limited efficacy, but I'm on small block where I would have to drive a long distance to temporarily re-park, crowding onto one side of the street is not a real option and considering the routes are lineal, several blocks around would be similarly affected. About half the spaces are empty most mornings sweeping occurs, but it's usually always the same people who drive to work. In Oakland I have often worked on streets with sweeping and when we lived there it was the same. A really bummer to get one of those tickets, and they don't always come before the sweeper and forgive people parked during the prohibited period after. But I think the reason for the frequent sweeping is a legal obligation of cities to another regional agency related to keeping the bay clean. Don't know if it is BCDC or what, but the theory is to reduce the amount of junk which will be pushed out to the bay through the storm sewers. In other words, it's not DPW gilding the lily.

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