Last month, while walking through central JP, we were grossed out by the amount of trash both on the sidewalk and in the gutter. That day it was on the pond side, but frequently it can be both sides of the street that are littered with paper, coffee cups, lottery tickets, pizza paper plates, plastic bags, candy wrappers…you get the picture.
Not only is it glaringly ugly, but many storm drains also are blocked, diminishing their capacity to drain the melting snow and the rains. Whose responsibility is it to do this cleaning, we wondered? After calling City Hall and being shuffled around a bit, eventually being told to look for the signs on the street regarding street cleaning days, we did just that. Well, there aren’t any signs designating street cleaning, only snow removal during snow emergencies and time constraints on parking.
We have seen street cleaners, but it is random and haphazard that they appear. Of course, they don’t get up to the sidewalk, where there are plenty of trash cans placed strategically along the avenue. Also, street cleaning can be challenging in the winter when there are snowbanks.
We are well aware there are many other issues of great importance to be tackling and we both are engaged in some of those. However, we also feel that we as citizens and store owners can take a more active role in keeping our sidewalks and streets cleaner, safer and more aesthetically pleasing.
What the heck, we live here; why not make it pleasant? In the spirit of our ex-governor, Mike Dukakis, who picks up trash on his walk from Brookline to Northeastern, if you see trash, consider picking it up and tossing it out. If you happen upon a couple of backsides as you stroll the avenue, don’t mind us, we’re just the litter-pickers! You can be one, too!
Sara Driscoll and Judy Kolligian