PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Phase Two of the City of Philadelphia's Mechanical Street Cleaning Pilot Program begins in four residential areas on Monday.
It runs through November 30.
Signs have been posted around the city reminding drivers to move their cars.
For example, signs along 8th Street by McKean in South Philadelphia state that there is no parking on both sides of the street between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Mondays through November.
However, you may see the signs read "April Thru November" - that initially meant April 2020, but this phase was pushed back to summer 2021 due to the pandemic shutdowns.
In some spots, crews started around 8 a.m. and on a different day than noted, but some didn't mind.
"Whatever we have to do. Moving your cars for a couple hours once a week is no big deal," said Jacquelin Welker of South Philadelphia.
The cleaning is a hybrid of mechanical sweeping, sidewalk litter and trash removal, and trash compactor removal.
Phase One was held in 2019 in six neighborhoods, and 96% of residents surveyed in each pilot area supported expanding the program citywide.
This year, Mayor Jim Kenney committed $62 million over five years for street cleaning, which allowed the start of Phase Two.
There are 14 areas slated for the program, beginning with four areas and gradually expanding to other neighborhoods.
The Mechanical Cleaning Pilot Program will launch on Monday in the following areas:
- North Central: Broad to 22nd Sts from Glenwood Ave to Diamond St
- South Philly: McKean St to Oregon Ave from 4th to 8th Sts
- Southwest: Woodland Ave to Kingsessing Ave from 49th St to Cemetery Ave.
- Strawberry Mansion: Diamond Ave to Lehigh St from Sedgley to 33rd Sts
The rollout in 10 additional areas will be announced at a later date. Residents may begin to see no parking signs installed or mechanical sweeping equipment tested in the following areas:
- Frankford: Bridge to Adams from Griscom St to Torresdale Ave
- Germantown: Berkley to Chelten from Pulaski to Wakefield
- Kensington: 2nd St to Kensington from Tioga to Lehigh Ave
- Logan: Godfrey to Roosevelt Blvd from Broad to 5th Sts
- Nicetown: Broad to Clarissa from Hunting Park Ave to Windrim St.
- Paschall: 58th to 70th from Greenway Ave to Dicks Ave
- Point Breeze: Christian to McKean from Broad to 24th Sts.
- Port Richmond: Kensington to Aramingo from Tioga to Lehigh
- West Fairhill: 5th to 13th Sts from Glenwood to Susquehanna
- West Philly: Parkside to Girard Ave from 52nd to 40th Sts.
These are all neighborhoods identified as having the highest concentration of litter that need additional city services to supplement cleaning efforts.
"Having a dog and other people have kids, there's tons of trash, and it's hard for them to play and walk outside, so we think it's great," said Angela Krutsick of South Philadelphia.
But some believe it's a waste of resources.
"We've been living here 53 years on the same corner, and we clean our street. We sweep. We take care of it. We never wanted the city to give us nothing," said Gerardo Rivera of South Philadelphia.
Rivera added, "The schools need the money. The violence in the city- they can't do nothing with, and they're worried about the street."
The city says the structure and sequence of the operations in each pilot area will be:
- Streets Department laborers equipped with backpack blowers and hand brooms will clean some pilot routes.
- Mechanical brooms will follow cleaning crews once debris is blown off sidewalks and curb lines.
- To ensure cleaning is maintained SWEEP Officers will patrol neighborhoods to address Sanitation code violations related to litter.
More details can be found here.