Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Sweepers

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


Hello Mayor,

Thank you for all the hard work you do on behalf of this town.

My question is regarding the street cleaning sweepers.

I do see one on rare occasion which makes me believe the town owns at least one. However, I do drive around Lakewood all day long (for my work) and I have to admit I rarely see it in use. Maybe I’m just in the wrong areas, or maybe we need to buy more of these and hire additional drivers, because our streets are getting progressively dirtier. Its not necessarily from trash, but also after the bulk pickup picks up the brush, there is usually a need to clean the area. (Not sure if homeowner is technically responsible to do this, however the overwhelming majority of homeowners do not.)

What happens then is that the filth just sits around and makes a very unpleasant environment for all of us.

What can be done?

Looking forward to your kind response,

Concerned Resident

Response from Mayor Coles:

Good morning,

We try to run 3 sweepers everyday, including the downtown which is done on second shift. They work in zones, which is why it is not unusual not see any in a particular area of town on a given day. We try to make sure that the sweepers follow the brush trucks when they collect leaves and branches for the very reason you mention. The problem is that many folks are reminded to put out leaves and branches after they see our guys pick up the leaves next door. While we make sure the trucks get back to get them, the sweepers cannot always make the return trip.

While it may not be a legal responsibility to clean the street in front of your house when trash accumulates, I make it a point to clean up in front of my house and to make sure the storm drain is clear. I know a lot of other folks who do the same.

We are also looking for better ways to do things. Last Fall we introduced leaf vacuum trucks, which pick up the leaves much quicker with just one worker as well as do a better job of cleaning the street while picking up the leaves & other debris collected around them. Pat Donnelly and his crew at Public Works are always looking for new technology to improve the way things are done. Who knows what they will find next!


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  1. This question has been bothering me for years, with all the sand and small debris at the curb it would be great if they can come once a monthly or bo monthly to clean the streets like they do in ever city

  2. Can anyone tell me when was the last time they saw a swepper? I hadn’t seen one in 10 years. in Brooklyn you see them twice a week

  3. They don’t let you know when they’re coming so there are always cars parked in the street when they come so my street doesn’t get cleaned properly. Also they never picked up my leaves last fall and the snow plows pushed all the leaves back onto my grass.

  4. Even if they told you they were coming you wouldn’t move your car let’s be honest. And if you paid attention they do come out.

  5. You know what comes along with the regular, scheduled street sweepers that the bigger cities are privileged to, right? It’s called Alternate Side Parking.
    Be careful what you wish for.

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