Saturday, February 13, 2010

Major Step For Cleaner Neighborhoods

Laura Sargent in Representative Marty Waltz's office emailed me this week to tell me great news. Governor Deval Patrick has signed into a law a bill that will help make Boston streets cleaner.

Now, those of you who read this blog know that one issue I am fairly passionate about is trash. When I first became a member of the Beacon Hill Civic Association back in 1999, I was asked shortly thereafter to represent younger Beacon Hill neighbors on the infamous "trash committee" (which is now called the City Services Committee). Spending one night each month talking about creative ways to make Beacon Hill's streets cleaner became, I admit, somewhat addictive.

Given the time I have spent studying the issue, I hope you will trust that I do have some insight into how the streets could be cleaner. Last year, I wrote a post that outlined three main initiatives that would help significantly.

1) Towing on street cleaning days. Street cleaning only works if cars are not in the way of the street sweeper. That's why Mayor Menino administration's maximum enforcement of posted street sweeping signs is so important. Move your cars, neighbors!

2) Switching to 2 + 2. We have three days of trash pick up on Beacon Hill. That means trash is on the sidewalk far too often. I suggest moving to two days of pickup, plus an additional day of recycling (with trash pick up and recycling happening on the same day).

3) This is the issue that Laura phoned me about. The law that is now in place (whoo hooo!) will allow the City to better penalize trash scofflaws. The City will now be able to put in place procedures that attach unpaid trash violation fines to a property's tax bills. This will give those violations weight. It will also wake up absentee landlords throughout the city (building owners who rarely visit their properties and check on their tenants).

Kudos to all who helped the "green ticket" law become a reality, including Representative Marty Walz, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Mayor Menino and his administration, and the Boston City Councilors who supported this effort. Thank you all!

No comments: