Yoni Hikind, candidate for the NYC Council’s 44th District, isn’t just griping about traffic and dirty streets: He’s already doing something about it. Hikind just delivered a “Cleaner Streets” proposal to the NYC Departments of Sanitation and Transportation that a mayor’s office insider says shows real potential.
“The issues of traffic congestion, parking availability, street cleanliness and associated violations are all issues that New Yorkers share,” said Hikind. “What do these problems all have in common? Alternate-side parking. Alternate-Side Parking regulations were put into effect by the Department of Sanitation in the 1950s, allowing large street-sweeping vehicles to clean sidewalks from accumulative trash while requiring motorists to rotate parking positions. But a DOT survey, conducted while alternate-side parking was suspended, found that the regulations increase congestion. It also found that uncleaned streets appeared neither cleaner nor dirtier.
“Alternate-side parking may have been a great solution 60 years ago, but today’s street conditions require us to look at alternatives, so that’s what I’ve done. Growing up in Midwood and Boro Park, I’ve witnessed the stress created by forcing people to double-park and then move their cars. Traffic congestion is bad enough during rush hour. Alternate-side parking eliminates half of all available area parking. And I think most of us would agree that streets aren’t much cleaner when alternate side is in effect. Nevertheless, Kings County continues to see about 10,000 new cars each year, so things are only going to get worse.”
Hikind’s solution? State-of-the-art Efficient Street Vacuumers.“These are much better instruments for effectively cleaning our streets while simultaneously alleviating city drivers from alternate-side woes,” said Hikind. “Large capacity vacuumers don’t necessarily require moving cars to reach trash, and sweepers have proven to be imperfect cleaning tools (since they tend to scatter pieces of trash). Revamping the city’s street cleaning fleet can potentially eliminate traffic congestion, restore parking availability at peak hours, and reduce unfair penalties on citizens all the while leaving behind cleaner streets.”
While it’s true that in the past city officials have sought ways to eliminate ASP, it never went far because they never addressed the root cause: the actual cleaning machines and methods currently being employed. Hikind’s solution has already proven itself feasible in Toronto, Montreal, Baltimore, Atlantic City and Paris. Hikind is pitching a pilot project for his district.
“The solution I’m proposing is cost-effective and will ultimately save money for the City as well as our residents,” said Hikind. “Best of all, New Yorkers will love it. Cleaner streets, less traffic, less hassle… As City Councilman, these are some of my goals. And with G-d’s help and some hard work, we’ll get there.”
Yoni Hikind’s complete “Cleaner Streets” plan can be found at yonihikind.com/cleanerstreets.