Wednesday, February 10, 2021

News from the Common Council Meeting: Part 3

In his monthly report, made to the Council at Monday's informal meeting, Rob Perry, DPW superintendent, addressed the issue of alternate side of the street parking and street sweeping. It will be remembered that at the 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.


  1. Why is the DPW director preaching to us about fire related issues and if he is so adamant about permanent alt side parking, why does it still occasionally get suspended? Did he ever make his case to the mayor or the police chief? Be wary of Rob Perry's claims, he is a bossypants and in my estimation a big tale spinner. Often full of hooey, too.

  2. Rob Perry is the highest paid city employee,and the least cooperative. Didn't like it when "FIRST FLUSH" had to explained to him either.

  3. Everything Mr. Perry says about street sweeping is correct.

    The city should also be cleaning out the street sewer catch-basins.

    Were we to neglect these routine tasks, everyone would soon be complaining about the negative environmental impacts.

    1. Once a week would be more than sufficient, let's not get carried away. Dirt is not accumulating on our streets that fast.

  4. Facts are facts, and cleaning the streets makes sense. I was surprised to see how much dirt was collected by the sweepers, but the photo pretty much tells the story.

    Hudson enjoys a clean city compared to what is going on in other places. Can we continue to clean the streets, even if we have to move or cars from side to side.

    saving equipment likes pumps, stopping clogging of pipes, etc are good and reasonable.

  5. I would like to know are all the streets in the "2sq miles"swept on a regular basis .

    1. Rob Perry said on Monday that the streets in the "oldest part of the city" are cleaned every day. As someone who lives in the oldest part of the city and is often awake at three or four in the morning, I can attest to that. The Boulevards and other outlying areas are swept less frequently.

  6. We should ask regularly about the cleaning out of catch basins. The next time you walk passed a stinking sewer grate, it's time to ask the question again.

  7. Geewiz, too bad Hudson doesn’t have a cleaning of sidewalks program.
    You know, the dog bathroom areas on Warren St. where every pole, meter, tree etc, receives daily visits by our four legged friends. Maybe a timely cleaning is order there too.
    Fifty+ years or more keeping Hudson streets clean is a positive thing.
    Hey Hudson even had employees removing dead animals and cleaning horse droppings many years ago.
    And besides, Hudson needs a few parking garages.
    So be happy that your City cleans your streets.
    Now let’s start discussing snow removal, street shoveling to the curb and let’s get solar powered heated sidewalks installed.