Cieslewicz Declares May 1 "Clean Streets/Clean Lakes Day"

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 - 6:41am

Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz declared today "Clean Streets/Clean Lakes Day" to highlight the connection between the City of Madison's street sweeping program and the quality of our area lakes. Each year between May 1 and November 15 the City runs an intensive street sweeping program to reduce the amount of debris and pollution that washes from the streets into our lakes and streams.

"Intensive street sweeping is one of the most effective strategies city government can undertake to improve the quality of our lakes," said Cieslewicz. "By removing debris and pollution from city streets on a regular basis, we keep that material out of our lakes. The general public can help with this initiative by making sure to follow the parking guidelines in the street sweeping area so we can clean the street all the way to the curb where most material collects."

During the street sweeping season, alternate side parking restrictions are in effect downtown in the 2nd and 6th aldermanic districts on the near east side, and in the 13th aldermanic district on the west side. There is also a special street sweeping program that takes place each May in the downtown area; special no parking signs are posted during this time.

"Clean Streets/Clean Lakes" is just one of many efforts the city is undertaking to improve the quality of our lakes. The development of rain gardens - both on city properties and by private homeowners - is another such effort. Rain gardens help the lakes by reducing runoff and naturally filtering out pollutants. The city also enacted a phosphorous ban, in conjunction with Dane County, to reduce that source of runoff.

"While city government is working hard to improve lake quality, the vast majority of pollutants in area lakes come from non-city sources," Cieslewicz noted. "For instance, only 2% of the phosphorous delivery to Lake Mendota comes from Madison. We need to get our municipal neighbors and the state to join Madison in this important effort."

For more information, visit

  • George Twigg, (608) 266-4611