To ensure the City of Bellingham meets requirements set by the State Department of Ecology, Bellingham Public Works crews aim to sweep every street twice a year. The sweeping is done to remove metals that might otherwise enter the City's stormwater drainage system. While it's an extra benefit that bike lanes are swept free of glass and street debris is removed from residential roads, the purpose of street-sweeping is to protect our waterways from those contaminants.
City crews operate three street-sweepers year-round. If they are not pulled off their schedules for on-call responses to hazardous debris in traffic, all streets are swept at least twice every year. Busier streets, such as arterials, may be swept as often as once a month. One night per week is usually dedicated to bike lanes.
What does that mean to you?
- Where “No Parking” signs are posted for scheduled street sweeping downtown, move your car. We sweep downtown in one direction every week on Tuesdays between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and the opposite direction the same time on Wednesdays.
- If your car is parked in violation of “No Parking” signs during the posted street-sweeping schedule, you will be ticketed – and your vehicle may be towed.
- If you have deciduous trees on your lot or the nearby right-of-way, make sure the leaves don't get into the street or ditches. (Actually, that's a requirement.) Sodden leaves not only cause a problem for the sweeper, they clog drains and create more stormwater challenges.
Here's the map of when and where we sweep downtown streets: