Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley said Friday that she will consider waiving parking ticket fines related to street-sweeping violations — but you have to email her first.
Many people have asked Berkeleyside and the city why street sweeping, and the ticketing that accompanies it, has continued during the current shelter-in-place order, which restricted many activities throughout the state. Since mid-March, only essential businesses have been allowed to operate and community members have said they don’t see why street sweeping made the cut.
Williams-Ridley said Friday, in a virtual town hall with Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Berkeley’s health officer, Dr. Lisa Hernandez, that she’s heard the complaints loud and clear.
And, in news that is likely to be welcome to many, Williams-Ridley asked anyone who gets a parking ticket related to street sweeping during the shelter-in-place period to email it to her for review. She will then consider waiving the fine. Include your name and citation number in the email for easier processing, along with a clear photograph of the ticket.
Berkeley is legally required to keep its sewage lines and waterways clear, said Williams-Ridley, which means street sweeping must continue. Everything that goes into the city’s storm drains ends up in Aquatic Park and the San Francisco Bay, she said.
She described street sweeping as “still important and critical” even under the current circumstances.
Oakland and San Francisco said last month that they would stop ticketing in connection with street sweeping. But city staff told Berkeleyside at the time that this wouldn’t be the case in Berkeley. (The city did relax rules related to many other parking violations.)
On Friday, Williams-Ridley said it’s still crucial for residents to move their cars once a month so street sweeping can happen.
“We really need compliance,” she said. “We need voluntary compliance.”