A street sweeper cleans a street during the first week of allowing the practice in months, due to the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Suspended for much of the last three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alternate-side parking returns to New York City this Monday — but Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s time to try something different.

On most alternate-side streets across the city, cleaning happens twice a week. When alternate-side parking rules resume on June 29 for a weeklong period, de Blasio said on Tuesday, street cleaners will only happen once a week — on the latest day posted on the street signs for each block.

“Alternate-side parking has been done the same way for a long, long time,” de Blasio said, empathizing with drivers who’ve wound up having their cars ticketed or towed after forgetting to move their cars twice a week. “It is frustrating. It is difficult. It doesn’t have to be this way, so we’re rethinking alternate-side parking.”

Next week’s street cleaning rule change may be “the biggest change” made to the program in the last 20 years, de Blasio observed, but it is also a trial run. After next week, alternate-side rules will again be suspended, but the one-day cleaning policy will be used whenever the regulations are back in effect. De Blasio said he wants to limit the use of alternate-side parking during the pandemic.

The mayor indicated that city officials will monitor the progress of the one-day cleaning trial throughout the summer. How the program works during the summer may ultimately determine whether the one-day cleaning rule will be made permanent in the fall.

This story originally appeared on amny.com


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