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District 11

Alder Bill Tishler

Image of Alder Bill Tishler

Alder Bill Tishler

Contact Information

Home Address:

P.O Box 5252

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Tishler’s Blog

Night Sweeping Update

March 1, 2022 11:38 PM

Hello! I am posting a message from Bryan Johnson, from the Streets Division regarding street sweeping!

"As winter gives way to spring, the Streets Division starts cleaning up all the sand and salt leftover on the roads with the street sweepers running during the day and during the overnight hours.

All told, the sweepers are running 16 hours a day trying to gather up as much stuff off the roads before the spring rains have a chance to wash it down the drains and out into our waterways. 

Sweeping during the overnight hours in the spring has been a Streets Division practice for several years now, probably going back a few decades by this point if not longer.

The overnight sweeping for the spring of 2022 started last night because we had favorable temperatures and some equipment available. Temperatures are important because sweepers use water and can't work when it's far below freezing.  And every winter the sweepers are shipped out for a complete maintenance overhaul, and they start coming back to us in the end of February into early March.  

We plan on performing night sweeping again tonight and doing so as often as we can as weather allows.  The official start of the overnight spring cleanup is slated to be March 6, 2022 – but we figured we should not wait since the weather is good.  And next week, if the forecasts hold, we might lose some nights because it's shaping up to be pretty cold.

Why am I telling you all this about sweeping?

Every spring, we receive complaints about street sweepers waking up residents during the overnight hours.

We definitely sympathize with the residents who are upset about this, but we feel the work is too important as we try to gather up all the accumulated grit, salt, and sand from months of them not being swept. 

And in order for us to sweep more hours, it just makes sense to do it overnight when there's fewer cars on the road. It's safer for our sweepers, and allows us to sweep places where it would be dangerous to do during normal commuting times, like in the left lane by the medians of streets like Midvale Blvd or Cottage Grove Rd.

Some residents might be concerned because there's still ice in the gutter lines in some places. We aim to make at least two complete passes through the city during this spring clean-up phase. The next time sweepers go through the neighborhoods, whatever was frozen during round 1 will likely have melted by round 2. And there will be plenty of material in the drive lanes for us to pick up during round 1 as well, so the snowy curbs isn't a problem.

As always, if you have any questions please let us know!"

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