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Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group Want Daytime Street Cleaning

What does street cleaning make you think of? Noise? Dirt? Big trucks? All of the above? Want to hear that at night while you sleep? Well, it's for those reasons that the Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group launched a petition drive to have the City of Oakland go from nighttime to daytime street cleaning and got 181 people to sign it.

The trouble is that the City of Oakland's stil not implemented the change.

Here's the Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group's notice on the matter:

Good Afternoon,

18 months ago, the Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group presented a petition with 181 signatures to the Oakland Public Works Agency and our City Councilmember, Nancy Nadel, requesting that street sweeping hours in our neighborhood be changed from 12AM-3AM to daytime hours. The petition read:

"The current street sweeping hours are inconvenient because they occur when the highest percentage of us are home -- the middle of the night. The street sweeping schedule is also dangerous because it compels residents to leave their apartments and move their cars when there is an elevated occurrence of crimes. In addition, it is inappropriate for loud street sweeping trucks to drive through our residential neighborhood in the middle of the night. The noise from these trucks awakens many residents in our neighborhood. We request that street sweeping hours on Lakeside, Madison, Jackson, Alice and Harrison between 14th-19th Streets be changed from 12AM-3AM to daytime hours."

For the past 18 months, the city has used many excuses to delay the change in street sweeping hours:

-The public works agency told us they needed to know if the local merchants supported the change. We collected signatures from almost every local business owner in our neighborhood and presented them to the public works agency.

-Then the agency told us they didn't want to loose revenue from parking meters during the day. We compromised by eliminating Harrison and 19th Streets (lots off metered parking on these streets) from our request.

FINALLY, the city granted our request!

-But then the city has told us for 6 months that the company printing the new signs is taking a long time, and this is out of the city's control. It is unclear whether this is true, or whether the city is trying to come up with new excuse every 6 months until we give up and go away.

Let's join together as a team -- a community -- and collectively put pressure on our city officials to listen to us and stop dragging their feet. We have been patient for 18 months, but at this point it appears as if the city is toying with us and UNREASONABLY delaying what they have already promised to do. Please call and email the city officials below. Even if you do not live in our neighborhood, do not own a car, or have off-street parking, please show solidarity with us and contact these city officials:

Raul Godinez: Director, Public Works Agency

Nancy Nadel, Councilmember

The request to include Lakeside Drive as one of the streets that would change to daytime street sweeping hours was denied because "there are many metered spots there and the city doesn't want to loose revenue," according to a city official. While preserving existing revenue is important during a time when overall revenue is declining due to the economy, public safety is ALSO important. And putting residents in a situation where they have to move their car around 12AM is not safe. In addition to the 2 numbers above, Lakeside Drive residents (or anyone who wants to help) should also call these city officials:

Bill Noland: Director, Finance and Management Agency

Dan Lindheim, City Administrator
You can also call Mayor Ron Dellums' office at 238-3141

Good luck and let's be heard!

Many Thanks,
Chris Kattenburg
Downtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group
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