Can't Do The Dirty Work | Solving 4 Reasons Behind Street Sweeping Delays

Without regular street sweeping services, your city roads quickly develop a thick layer of plant debris, dirt and garbage. The dirt and debris not only looks unsightly, but it disrupts the ability of vehicles from bicycles to buses to drive safely down your roadway. Unfortunately, despite scheduled sweeping services, professionals must skip roads on occasion due to obstructions blocking the intended work area. The street sweeping vehicles require a totally clear pathway to suck up all of the dirt and debris along the road in a single pass. Thankfully, there are a few ways to eliminate those obstructions to ensure your street receives a thorough cleaning on the scheduled visit date.  

Parked Cars

In many areas, residents who park on the street receive advanced notice to move their vehicles to create a clear path for the sweeping vehicles. City maintenance professionals stagger the cleaning of each block to make sure residents still have somewhere safe to park their vehicle.

People who do not move their vehicles on time block the street sweeping crew from fully cleaning that side of the road. As a result, parking enforcement officials issue a ticket that serves to remind the vehicle owner to promptly move their car the next time around. You can help by reminding neighbors of upcoming street sweeping services to keep your road clean and help your community avoid unnecessary parking fines.

Adverse Weather

Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain and deep snow, negatively impact the mechanisms used to suck dirt and debris off the roadways. If your roads continually fill up with large puddles or snow drifts along the curbs, the street crew may be forced to skip your block until the conditions improve.

You can attempt to assist the crew by regularly pushing debris and snow accumulation off the storm drains. Cleaning the storm drains also helps keep the road surface in good condition despite heavy rain and snow. Although street sweepers do not run while streets are covered in a thick layer of snow, clearing large drifts out of the gutter will bring crews to your block as soon as the rest of the roads clear up.

Dead Animals

Vehicles hit and kill up to two million animals, such as deer, raccoon, tortoises and squirrels, each year.  Residents are often discouraged from removing wild animals from the roadway themselves due to the risk of disease transmission.

Unfortunately, that means the carcasses sit on the side of the road and impede cleaning efforts from street sweeping crews. You can call your local animal control officer and give them the location of the deceased animal to have it picked up within a day or two. Once the carcasses leave the roadway, sweeping crews can come through and scrub the road clean with their brush-equipped vehicles.

Broken Roads

Street sweeper drivers will skip roadways riddled with potholes and broken sections to keep from smacking the vacuum components on the asphalt. The vacuum components and brushes hang extremely close to the ground to facilitate an even clean on each block.

If you notice that your street is developing a pothole problem or other signs of breakage, give your street maintenance crew a call to report the problem. Many cities strive to fix asphalt damage within a few days of receiving the initial report. If you time it right, the work will be done before your block's scheduled sweeping date.

Waiting It Out

After taking steps toward eliminating obstructions, you may just need to wait for the city—or your neighbors—to respond. As many other people take the same actions as you did, the line for services tends to lengthen. Luckily, many city crews work together to make sure the tasks are completed before the street sweeping team rolls through each neighborhood. Fortunately, even if the obstruction blocks cleaning services one week, the crew will return and remove the remaining dirt and debris on the next scheduled visit date once the obstruction is eliminated. For more information, check out a website like