last meeting in 2020 of the Common Council Public Works and Parks Committee, Alderman Jane Trombley (First Ward) complained, "Alternate side of the street parking is a real pain," and Alderman John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward) declared that the issue of doing away with alternate side parking regulations would be taken up in the new year. On Monday night, Perry made the case for why the City should not do away with alternate side of the street rules for overnight parking.
Perry started out by displaying the photograph below and explaining that each pile represented one load from one night of street sweeping. (The picture was taken in the vacant area on East Court Street, behind St. Mary's Catholic Church, where debris from the street sweeper as well as snow is dumped.)
He went on too say that 99 percent of the material picked up by the street sweeper is dirt, "which will easily settle in city sewer mains and clog pipes." He cited a consent decree from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency): "[The City] SHALL develop and implement . . . a program of cleaning to prevent the deposition of solids . . . ." (I expect the caps and underscore were added by Perry for emphasis.) Perry told the Council that the Department of Public Works had no means of removing debris from more than twenty miles of sewer main, so daily street sweeping was a necessity. He warned that reduced sweeping would result in more incidents of CSO (combined sewer overflow), when untreated sewage spills into the river, and would decrease the mechanical life of the pumps in the City's sewer system. He also warned of possible fines from EPA and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Perry told the Council that the City of Hudson SPDES (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit requires the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) "to maximize pollutant capture and minimize water quality impacts from combined sewer overflows (CSOs)." He provided this definition of best practices: "Regular cleaning of streets and combined sewers is an important part of proper operation and maintenance of a combined sewer system."
Perry argued the alternate side of the street overnight parking was essential for carrying out street sweeping and named other river communities that have alternate side parking regulations: Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Albany, and Troy. He argued that alternate side overnight parking was critical for fire safety as well, citing a "working fire" that occurred just before midnight on July 27, 2019, on lower Union Street, "where houses share common walls." It was a Saturday night, and alternate side rules had been suspended for the summer. Because cars were parked on both sides of the street, the giant ladder truck could not be used in fighting the fire because there was no room to extend the truck's outriggers.
Perry concluded: "Alternate side parking must remain at seven days per week for regulatory compliance and the safety of residents." Council president Tom DePietro said the Council would continue its review of the issue.
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