I’ve never understood the point or purpose of street sweepers – not since I was a small kid. They provide no value whatsoever. Forget what they are supposed to do – they can’t vacuum, they can’t clean, they can’t sweep up into a dustpan, they can’t wax, and they can’t pick up your carry-out dinner or drop your children off at the ice rink. These useless things drive up and down the streets scattering garbage, tossing twigs, slinging mud, and leaving behind mountains of leaves in the fall.
Years ago, before the militarization on the police state and the installment of omnipotent confiscatory governments in America’s cities, these things were “make work” for the government employees and unions. In the era of No Freedom, they have become revenue centers for municipalities because they hand out tickets for parking on the street on days when the dirt scatterers come. These contraptions are merely another tool of the Police Harassment State. I googled to see who else thinks these things are useless contraptions. It turns out that many cities, such as Washington D.C., use street sweeper cameras to confiscate funds from the citizenry while unsubstantiated claims are presented professing that the street sweeper function is positive in terms of cleaning up the environment. Hogwash!
The new street sweeper cameras, which have enraged some drivers, are also making a difference to DC’s trash and pollution. According to testimony from DPW head William Howland at a January 2008 hearing, cars parked illegally during sweeping hours significantly impede DPW’s ability to get trash off the streets. Each car forces the sweeper to go around, making it miss three parking spaces worth of gutter. Cleaning vehicles collect 10 pounds of oil and grease per mile swept, and 3 pounds each of nitrogen and phosphorus.
Cities where parking is scare, like Long Beach, conduct scheming ticket sweeps because people have no where else to park, and the city adds $9M per year to the city coffers by pulling off this extortion tactic. Long Beach’s Dictatorial Staff even went so far to suggest the use of “automated license plate recognition technology” on its convoy of street sweepers so the city could secure more revenue by cutting the costs of its fleet of revenue enforcement goons. Here’s a video of the mess left behind by a government street sweeper.
5:59 pm on March 23, 2013 Email Karen De Coster