Berkeley Street Sweeping


Street sweeping is a service that the City has always provided. The services throughout the years have ranged from the horse drawn carts sprinkling the early dirt roads to keep the dust down to the present mechanical sweepers to collect roadside debris. The services provided prior to 1987 were performed on an as needed basis with voluntary participation by City residents.Berkeley Public Works

However, the increased reliance on the automobile has caused increased roadside debris. This situation made it necessary to keep our roads clean for safety reasons. Regular street sweeping scheduling and mandatory parking enforcement (Resolution No. 54,5l3-N.S.) was adopted by the City Council in October 1987 to optimize City resources in implementing the City's Residential Street Sweeping Program (SSP). To ensure effectiveness, controlled parking was used wherever feasible throughout the city.

To facilitate implementation of the SSP, staff identified four geographical areas within the city. These four areas shown on Figure 1 are denoted as Phases I, II, 111, and IV. Installation of signs, scheduling of street sweeping routes, public notification, and street sweeping were to be implemented in phases. Phases I through III were completed in May 1991. Phase IV was on the brink of implementation when City Council on May 7, 1991 adopted Resolution No. 55,860-N.S. thereby permitting certain areas of the City to withdraw from the SSP by petition.

Residents in the Phase IV service area were notified of their inclusion into the SSP and of the opt out process by September 1991. During this time period, blocks in Phases I through III could also withdraw from the SSP by petition. The withdrawal process became known as the "opt out" process of the SSP. This process was to be available until February 1992, but there has been continued acceptance of these requests.


The issues of 1) continued acceptance of these opt out petitions and; 2) perceived noncompliance with the City's efforts with the Clean (Storm) Water Program (CWP) were raised by the public. These issues were brought to Council by the ' Community
Environmental (Action Committee) (CEAC) on June 22, 1993. CEAC's recommendation to Council were

    • 1) request Council to define its goals for the CWP as it relates to the SSP and the opt out component and
    • 2) to rescind the opt out component of the City's SSP. Council then requested the Public Works Commission (PWC) to respond to this issue.


The PWC summarized recommendations from both themselves and Public Works staff in a Council memorandum dated November 16, 1993. The recommendations were: J) to place a 12-month moratorium on additional opt out requests; and 2) to postpone action on this issue until two studies have been reviewed by the appropriate subcommittees within the CWP. Council decided to postpone action on this issue until the two ACURCWP studies were completed.

The PWC in March 1994 inquired about the status of the two studies. In a report dated April 14 by staff, the PWC were notified about the status of the two reports and provided with additional information to restate their initial stance of rescinding opt out or at the very least, stop accepting opt out petitions.


On May 10, 1994 the City Council considered the report to the PWc. At that meeting, the Council adopted Resolution No. 57,473-N.S. which placed a moratorium on additional opt out petitions; and directed the City Manager and the PWC to submit a report that "will look at scientific findings related to copper, criteria for including and excluding streets, mechanical means of cleaning, design of streets, an educational program, and the City's ticketing policy".

This report is the result of a cumulative effort by an ad-hoc committee of staff ·and the PWC (Subcommittee) to address the aforementioned concerns and to resolve the local opt out issue. The report will look at the Street Sweeping Program in the City of Berkeley and the Clean Water Program in Sections 2 and 3, respectively. The objectives and implementation of these two programs will be outlined and compared. Section 4 will summarize pertinent data about street sweeping, associated BMPs, urban pollution sources, and the RWQCB copper reduction. Alternatives will be provided in Section 5. The contents in Sections 4 and 5 will be used in an evaluation of each of the alternatives. A discussion of the evaluation is provided in Section 5 with staff and PWC recommendations in Section 6.

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