Helping people avoid getting ticketed on street cleaning days was clearly a form of therapy for Dan Moja, co-creator of a series of city websites that pinpoint cleaning schedules down to specific streets. “I cannot tell you how absolutely angry I was when I got towed for the third time,” he says. “Each time we launch a new site, I slowly gain a little bit of satisfaction.”
Moja lives in Chicago. Back in 2010, his car was ticketed and towed three times in three weeks due to street cleaning, a frustrating experience which set him back hundreds of dollar). “I was so upset over the towings and fines that I sold my car and it ultimately led me to want to create a website which helps people avoid street sweeping tickets,” he says.
Moja researched the field and found Peter Malkin, creator of the San Francisco Street Cleaning website. Mojo contacted Malkin and explained how he wanted to bring his website to Chicago. This led the pair to form a partnership which has seen them roll out sites for Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, and, now, Berkeley.
To find out about street cleaning times, users of the Berkeley site can either drag the pin on the Google map to their street address, or type it into a search box. Opposite sides of the street are usually swept on different days, which is reflected in the information. While many neighborhoods are covered, there are gaps in the data as the site is still under development. The site allows users to submit information and feedback, and offers a forum for discussion.
The service is free and there is a version available as an app for Android phones with one on the way for iPhones. Moja says the goal is to add more bells and whistles to the tool, such as email/text message alerts when you register your address, and to expand to as many cities as possible.
The city of Berkeley provides information on street cleaning on its website, with schedules listed alphabetically by street name.
A link to Berkeley Street Cleaning website is included in our Berkeley Sites list in the right column of the Berkeleyside home page.
Call for more alerts and fewer tickets on street sweeping [10.25.11]
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