Some members of NEWRA Clean Streets Committee recently told DPW Assistant Commissioner Frank O’Brien that although a lot of time and effort has been placed in the neighborhood, the North End is still filthy.
Residents noted that mechanic street cleaning is not getting the job accomplished because there is not any real enforcement in tagging and/or towing vehicles that are left on the street during street cleaning.
"The signs are clearly posted and there are still those who do not move their vehicles," one resident complained. "The City needs to strictly enforce the rules and ticket and tow these vehicles."
Another resident told the Assistant Commissioner that the people that are suppose be handling cleaning gutters (Hokeys) have not been doing their jobs.
In addition, residents claim that there are still numerous people not placing out trash properly and the trash pickers are creating a mess on the sidewalks and streets.
Residents requested that Code Enforcement Officers beef-up their efforts or the City needs to hire more of them.
O’Brien agreed that enforcement is the key toward making mechanical street cleaning and trash programs work.
However, like his boss, Commissioner Joanne Massaro, told residents at another meeting held during the same week, there is a budgeting problem that prohibits DPW from further expanding their efforts and to hire additional manpower.
O’Brien also noted that DPW has had several meetings in house with various City units and departments to discuss year round mechanic street cleaning and two day trash removal in the North End pilot program.
He pointed out that nothing has been cast in stone and that DPW will hold several neighborhood meetings to get input from residents.
When asked, O’Brien stated that these potential scenarios were policy decisions made by DPW and that no City Council Legislation was needed.
Committee members and O’Brien totally agreed that education through information maybe the best way to take on illegal trash placement on North End sidewalks.
Committee co-chair Naomi Paul thanked O’Brien for his continuous efforts, frequent attendance and informative information he provides the committee on a regular basis.
Recently, the City of Boston mailed out brochures clearly identifying the rules and regulations regarding trash.
In addition, through the efforts of the North End Chamber of Commerce hundreds of refrigerator magnets were distributed by committee members and local realtors directly to neighborhood tenants.
The Chamber has also provided smoke pots that have been placed near several places of business.
In addition, the Chamber has placed signage relating to dog issues at several locations and installed bag dispensers in several areas as well so dog owners can pick-up after their pets.
Chris Young, representing the Chamber, has coordinated these community endeavors with the Clean Streets Committee and has been spotted hanging signs, bag dispensers and delivering smoke pots on a regular basis.
Committee Anne Pistorio reported rat sightings have increased in some areas of the community, especially coming up through sidewalks. She noted that the City is still baiting and trapping but it appears that rodents are reproducing at a very fast pace.
Tina Busa reported that local realtors are chipping in with getting trash information out to tenants and landlords.
On a much more positive note, the committee selected the North Bennet Street School as the August recipient of their recognition award for continuously cleaning the sidewalk and gutters in front of the trade school.
The next committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 14 at 7pm at the Nazzaro Community Center.