At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor James Davis suspended street-sweeping parking enforcement to help residents cope during the statewide stay-at-home order.
While the suspension of street-sweeper ticketing may have benefited Bayonne residents, it took a toll on the city. Trash began building up on the sidewalks, curbs, and other public areas. As a result of the lack in street-sweeping, cars remained parked for weeks.
Among the trash were used gloves, masks, and other medical waste that has prompted numerous rebukes from city officials, including a PSA from the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management.
A temporary solution came in the form of an at-home Earth Day cleanup on April 25 promoted by Mayor Davis, when residents were encouraged to clean the areas in front of their residences, while wearing masks and gloves.
While the Earth Day cleanup was declared a success with many posting pictures to social media, the city plans to resume the normal method of keeping the streets and sidewalks clean.
In a robo-call to residents, Davis announced on April 28 that the city would resume street-sweeping enforcement in May.
As Bayonne enters the second month of social-distancing directives, Davis is hoping that the city is getting closer to returning to normal.
“Early in the emergency, I ordered the Parking Utility to stop issuing summonses for numerous parking regulations,” Davis said. “One of these regulations was for sweeping enforcement.”
Street sweepers have continued to operate on their scheduled days, but the city hasn’t issued tickets for people who haven’t moved their cars.
Gloves, masks litter the streets
Davis recognized that the cleanliness of the city has suffered during this crisis, as a result of the suspension of parking regulations.
“However, I am so proud of how people are doing their part in helping to keep Bayonne clean,” Davis said. “Hundreds of you participated in our revised Earth Day last Saturday, and it was great to see the pictures. Thank you all.”
Now, Bayonne is gearing up for a return to normalcy. Part of the return means a shift back to normal parking regulations.
“We need to start the sweeper enforcement again, so we can get our streets clean,” Davis said.
Beginning on Monday, May 4, the city will start to enforce sweeper regulations again.
However, the city is offering a week-long grace period, during which anyone found in violation of street-sweeping parking regulations will be given just a warning. Actual tickets will be issued beginning the week of May 11, according to Davis.
“Thank you all for your cooperation and your patience throughout this emergency,” Davis said. “I am so proud of how our city has dealt with this crisis.”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.