Is street cleaning more effective at cleaning the street or making money for cities? And how much do urban drivers on average pay per year in street cleaning tickets? Our YoGov Wizards team did a bit of digging to help answer these questions, and we were surprised!

Raking Leaves or Raking in the Dough?

The above question was posed by Dan in this WBEZ article looking at street sweeping costs and revenue in Chicago. In that in-depth article, it found that street cleaning especially served a purpose in colder climates were there is a great risk for freezing and potholes developing due to debris blockage.  This is true. Debris does accumulate on city streets making street cleaning an important public service.

But important enough to justify the high street cleaning ticket prices? The fact is this: Parking and street cleaning tickets is a revenue generator for cities.

In 2013, Chicago took in $15 million from parking ticket revenue. Street cleaning itself cost the city about $8 million that year, leaving around $7 million in net revenue for the city that year.


The high cost of street cleaning tickets

In both San Francisco and Oakland, street cleaning tickets will cost you $66. In Los Angeles, that cost is $73. We recently did a survey in the Bay Area too among drivers and found that the average driver paid 1.8 street cleaning tickets per year in 2016. Let’s round that up to 2 tickets. That means that the average person paid $132 in street cleaning tickets in the Bay Area last year!

But most city officials will defend their right to street cleaning, as they should. There is usually ample warning and signage in neighborhoods, and if you forget to move your car, well, that’s not their problem.


How to avoid street cleaning tickets this year

We’re calling it Mission Zero. While we love empowering cities to improve services, we equally love empowering residents like you. So if that means we can help you save $132 this year, we’ll do our best to help you with that. We’re currently sending day-before street cleaning email reminders in 7 California cities and expanding around the country. You can find your city and sign up here in a few seconds.

Another thing we’ll be doing is publishing data for various neighborhoods on average tickets paid and more tips on how to remember to move your car. Plus, every week we’ll be giving away ONE get-out-of-a-parking-ticket voucher, value of up to $100. All you have to do is sign up for our reminders.


Actually, we really┬ádon’t want you to pay for a ticket this year.

When you fill out this below form, you’ll get TWO entries into our weekly $100 ticket voucher giveaway and ONE extra entry for every person you tag in this post (limit of 10 entries per week). And if we don’t support your city yet, we will get in touch with you personally about how we can.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *