Street Cleaning

Sorry to go on about this, but in my last post I was foolish enough to say, “In fact I have never seen a street cleaner and am beginning to suspect that they are mythical, used by the city to frighten naughty children.”


“A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.”

I have seen the street cleaner – it is impressive. It is in fact a caravan.

“Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,

Where only in an unknown yard a nameless truck has stirred,

Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,

The street-cleaning truck of NOPA takes weapons from the wall,

The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,

That once went singing southward when all the world was young.

In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,

Comes up along Panhandle Park the noise of the parade.

Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,

The street-cleaning truck of NOPA is going to the war,

Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold

In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,

Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,

Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and it comes!”

Apologies to Chesterton.

First come two electric buggies that swoop on and ticket each car that has been left in place. Next is the truck that goes in front of the brush truck – what it does I do not know – ride shotgun? Then it is the street-cleaning truck of NOPA with sonic boom brushes that scour the gutter. Finally, the back truck that stops the traffic when the brush truck has to swing around a delinquently parked car. The caravan  moves fast with multiple flashing lights.

Let’s talk money. While I was watching, at least 10 cars were ticketed – $90 a shot- let’s say $1000 for approximately 1000 yards. Thus street cleaning brings in about a dollar a yard. How many yards of city streets do they cover each day? I bet it is easily enough to cover costs and buy Halloween gifts for kids.  Clean streets and happy children for nothing. This weekly street cleaning should be introduced in all cities. Hey Sarkozy, introduce it to France and use the profits to decrease national debt. This is your way out of current crisis.

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