Optimized Street Sweeping

Torrance collects fines on vehicles in violation of posted street sweeping hours. The current fine is $43. I have recently asked the City Manager to place a review of of this amount on an upcoming agenda for Council’s consideration.

I am especially grateful for the opportunity to “go on record” on this issue, instead of having others ascribe to me false, inaccurate motivations (as was recently done in our local newspaper).

Let’s review the record:

In April, 2014, I was the Council member who seconded the motion to approve “Optimized Street Sweeping”. Frank Scotto, Pat Furey, Tom Brewer, Bill Sutherland, Gene Barnett, Heidi Ashcraft and myself voted unanimously in favor of the program.

At the time, and many times since, I related an antidote about my sister-in-law who lives one street over from the apartments on Yukon in North Torrance - she hadn’t had the street in front of her house swept in years because the apartment dwellers (who had “No Parking” signs on Street Sweeping days).

My support for “Optimized Street Sweeping” is as strong now as it was in 2014, and that support in unequivocal. I firmly believe that my colleagues on the Council did not perceive the tickets generated by the “Optimized Street Sweeping” signs as a revenue generator - that this program was not conceived as a “hidden tax” as some have suggested.

Nevertheless, and upon reflection, I now believe the $43 fine to be onerous and punitive.

The purpose of the fine is to have residents move their cars off the street for 3 hours per week so the sweeping vehicle can remove debris close to the curb. But this is not a safety issue such as:

TMC 61.6.13 “Emergency No Parking
TMC 61.6.17 “Parking in violation of curb markings” (Red Zones)

Both of these previous examples carry the same $43 fine as “No Parking during posted Street Sweeping hours”.

This is not to say that there shouldn’t still be some “sting” in this violation - after all, we still need people to move their vehicles, but I see this as a matter of equity and fairness, one in which I am happy to see addressed by the Council in the near future.