The Spring Street Sweep Program performs street sweeping operations on 1,054 kilometres of roadway each year. Currently, Administration provides public communication through Regina.ca, social media, local media and neighbourhood entrance signs. Tactics that could be used to improve public communication would be targeted communication in areas of high noncompliance, or a subscription-based notification tool notifying the public of the scheduled sweep for their neighbourhood. In order to use ticket and towing in all areas of the city as a deterrent, or adding an additional full cycle sweep, there would need to be a significant budget increase.
At the June 24, 2019, meeting of City Council, Motion MN19-8 was passed:
“That Administration prepare a report for Public Works and Infrastructure Committee for Q4 of 2019 that:
1. Identifies a strategy of improving communications and engagement (i.e., signage) about the street cleaning schedule;
2. Identifies the costs and cost recovery options related to towing vehicles in all areas of the City when scheduled street sweeping is underway;
3. Identifies additional deterrents and incentives that could result in residents moving their vehicles during scheduled street sweeping; and
4. Identifies the costs of adding an additional street sweeping during the year.”
Spring Sweep Program
The Spring Street Sweep Program is active from April to June annually. This program performs street sweeping operations on 1,054 kilometres of roadway each year, starting with medians, downtown streets, main arterial roads (Arterial Sweep) and then residential roads (Residential Sweep). Leading up to the sweep start date, the public is notified of the sweeping schedule through Regina.ca, social media and through local media. The Spring Sweep Program is broken down into two phases, including:
· The Boulevard and Arterial Sweep occurs over three weeks and includes the sweeping 47 km of major roadways and the centre boulevards. This phase utilizes ticketing and towing as a deterrent in moving vehicles in with high density areas;
· The Residential Subdivision Sweep occurs over six weeks and includes the sweeping of 1,007 km of residential roads. This phase utilizes signage at neighbourhood entrances as a communication tool in notifying residents of the upcoming street sweeping schedule. Ticketing and towing is not used in the phase as a deterrent and crews sweep around parked vehicles.
More information on the sweeping program can be found in Appendix A.
Administration conducted a survey with several municipalities to gain an understanding of how their sweeping programs operate. After analyzing the data, municipalities such as Winnipeg, Edmonton, Sudbury and London operate a similar program as the City of Regina (City) in that ticketing is used sparingly in areas of the greatest non-compliance, or not at all. Saskatoon, Red Deer and Calgary utilize ticketing and/or towing to varying degrees with signage across the entire city for street weeping activities. See Appendix B for more information on level of service, deterrents, budgets, etc.
Currently, leading up to the sweep start date, the public is notified of the sweeping schedule through Regina.ca, social media and local media. Signage is placed two to four days in advance of street sweeping at all neighbourhood entrances identifying the area and dates it will be swept. Strategies that would enhance and improve communication with residents regarding the street sweeping schedule are as follows:
· Additional social media, billboards and radio ads.
· Implementation of a subscription-based notification tool, similar to the Solid Waste Collection tool. This could advise residents of when their street will be swept and could include changes in schedules, calendar alerts, emails, phone calls or text messages.
· Sweeping activities and scheduling incorporated into an interactive map to update residents visually about where crews are working, upcoming neighbourhoods and neighbourhoods that have been completed.
· Increase signage placement to include locations other than at major neighbourhood entrances.
It is estimated that an additional $25,000 - $75,000 would be required in the operating budget to incorporate these enhanced communication efforts.
Towing Vehicles Citywide
Currently, the Spring Sweep Program takes nine weeks to complete at a cost of $1,793,000. Based on a six-year average, roughly 450 tickets are handed out during the 47 kilometres of ticketing and towing (ten tickets per kilometre), generating approximately $40,000 in net revenue. Upon completion of the Spring Sweep, staff transition to construction crews for the summer season, beginning in June.
To ensure all vehicles are moved during the spring sweeping activities, Administration could expand the ticketing and towing deterrent to the remaining 1,007 kilometres of residential neighbourhoods. Based on decreased productivity and unit costs associated with ticketing and towing, it is expected that the additional cost is approximately $3,194,000, for a total cost of the Spring Sweep being $4,987,000. Additional resources would be required to complete the sweep within the defined nine-week timeline, including 30 additional operators, seven additional street sweepers, and increased enforcement efforts. The additional staff would be required to enhance the number of crews from two to three crews per shift (two shifts per day), and to significantly enhance the number of signing crews to install enforceable signage in all areas of the city. The additional sweepers would be required for the increase in number of crews. These costs and equipment requirements would be in addition to the $4,987,000 and closer in alignment with Saskatoon’s annual budget:
· Operating cost for labour - $324,000
· Operating cost for increased enforcement - $130,000, generating $850,000 in net revenue
· Capital cost for equipment - $1,175,000
Administration could undertake to explore options in leasing the additional sweepers required, and therefore the capital costs would not be required. However, leasing sweepers in the past has not been an available option as they are a specialized piece of equipment that require intensive maintenance for limited usage.
Completing the sweep within nine weeks is a necessity as extending the timelines any further would have unintended and negative implications in the ability to deliver on summer construction season commitments such as paved alley reconstruction and gravel alley refresh, as well as inhibiting and/or delaying maintenance programs such alley maintenance and bridge washing programs. Any consideration in reducing the alley maintenance and capital construction programs internally delivered would have a broader impact on the ability to deliver on the winter maintenance operations, as the resources required are directly linked and intertwined (staffing, training, motor graders, trucks, loaders, etc).
Deterrents and Incentives
In the past, Administration has experienced low compliance in some neighbourhoods. According to the research completed with other municipalities (Appendix B), the main deterrent and best practice to ensure vehicles are compliant with sweeping activities is to ticket and/or tow the vehicle away in advance of the activity. Although the incentive for residents to move their vehicles during sweeping operations is that their street is cleaned in its’ entirety, there are limited opportunities to further incentivize residents to gain compliance. In addition to the enhanced communication strategy as previously outlined, a targeted and defined effort to communicate with non-complaint neighbourhoods could include:
· Informational pamphlets hand delivered to mailboxes and/or vehicles providing residents with information about the Spring Sweep Program prior to their street being swept. The pamphlet could contain visual and literal messaging about the process and benefits of street sweeping.
· Enhancing education and community awareness of the Street Sweeping Program with Community Associations.
· Increase the ticket fine to an amount that would further deter non-compliance.
Currently, the cost to deliver the Spring Sweep Program is $1,793.000, which sweeps all streets within the city. During the Spring Sweep, there are operators available and allocated to that activity for the nine weeks that the winter season maintenance ends and the summer construction begins. Once construction starts, all operators are assigned to those programs. The financial implications of adding a second citywide sweep would be approximately $1,592,000 based on the current program and taking into consideration that the amount required would be reduced by the current funding available to perform the Fall Sweep Program. However, substantial additional resources would be required in adding a second city-wide sweep as all staff are allocated to construction programs after the Spring Sweep has been completed. To ensure there are no impacts to the resources required to deliver on summer construction season commitments, an entire additional sweeping compliment of 60 operators would be required for the duration of the additional sweep.
· Improved Communications; Operating cost - $25,000 - $75,000.
· Towing vehicles citywide; Additional operating costs - $3,194,000; Additional labour - $324,000; Increased enforcement - $130,000; Capital Costs - $1,175,000; Total Costs - $4,823,000.
· Additional sweep; Operating costs - $1,592,000.
None to this report.
Policy and/or Strategic Implications
The current operational activities for the Spring Sweep Program, are consistent with The Official Community Plan, Bylaw No. 2013-48 (OCP), specifically:
· Section D3, Goal 1 – Sustainable Transportation Choices:
5.4. “Establish all-season design and maintenance priorities for roads, sidewalks and pathways to ensure the transportation network provides safe travel, access and mobility, including for the following:
o 5.4.1 Key transit facilities;
o 5.4.2 Key pedestrian and cycling routes; and
o 5.4.3 Public buildings and institutions.”
None to this report.
None to this report.
The public is notified of the sweeping schedule through Regina.ca, social media and local media.
As there are no recommended changes Spring Sweep Program, the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee has delegated authority to receive and file this report.
Respectfully Submitted, Respectfully Submitted,
Report prepared by:
Alicia Knapik, Technologist II