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Sweeter sweeping - New rules, signs in effect

The alternate side of the street shuffle began anew this week in Park Slope, as a two-month suspension of parking regulations came to an end.

Since May 19, the regulations had been suspended while workers installed 2,800 new signs detailing alternate side of the street regulations.

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) said that residential street cleaning parking restrictions will be reduced from three-hour intervals to just 90 minutes, and from twice a week to once a week.

The new street cleaning rules were established by the Department of Sanitation.

Some commercial streets will be cleaned more often and regulations will be better coordinated to help ensure curbside parking for shoppers, the city said in a statement.

“It’s a great thing for the neighborhood and we are thankful that DOT and the community board, after years of effort and data, showed that our streets will be perfectly clean only being swept one day a week,” said Ken Freeman, the president of the Park Slope Civic Council.

Community Board 6, which encompasses Park Slope and surrounding neighborhoods, has for years insisted that cleaning streets more often did not necessarily make them cleaner.

Less street cleaning means less time drivers devote to circling the block to find an elusive parking space.

“To have this implemented is a great thing for the neighborhood,” Freeman said. “To have times reduced to 90 minutes is a great thing for our busy lives.”

Squeezing in errands or other activities in the 90-minute time period — as opposed to the previous three-hour window — will be an adjustment, he conceded.

He said the idea that the suspension of alternate side of the street parking was a holiday for local residents were overstated.

“The so-called respite was almost a media creation,” he said.

He said fears that people from other neighborhoods would be rushing to the neighborhood to park their cars during the suspension never materialized.

Eric McClure, the campaign coordinator for Park Slope Neighbors, said he welcomed the return of the street sweepers.

“It seemed the streets got pretty dirty when alternate parking rules were suspended,” he said.

“The alternate side of the street shuffle is a relatively small price to pay for free on-street parking,” McClure added.

Beginning July 7, street cleaning regulations were suspended in parts of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus and Boerum Hill. The suspension will span up to eight weeks, according to the DOT. Similar suspensions are expected later this year in Red Hook and Columbia Heights.

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