TRAVERSE CITY — City street crews launched their spring juggling act, an effort to work street cleanup, leaf collection, and pot-hole patching into a schedule that works for residents.
Crews recently abandoned pothole patching and begun clearing away the sand and gravel they dumped on roads all winter. That project on the city’s main streets requires an extensive amount of equipment and manpower, said Dave Green, director of the city’s department of public works.
“We’ve only got so many guys on a crew, so we won’t do patching unless we have a serious pothole,” Green said. “It’s a constant juggling act.”
The cleanup action with street sweepers will close one lane of traffic in various areas until April 28, when city workers switch to residential leaf and brush pick-up operations and resume pothole patching.
City staff took criticism last year for starting the leaf collection while many yards still had snow cover. This year that chore will start a week later, Green said, but the criticism hasn’t ebbed.
“Some neighborhoods still have snow, but you wouldn’t believe how many phone calls we’ve gotten asking when we are going to get out there and start picking up leaves so they can clean up their yards,” Green said. “We can never make everybody happy.”
Leaf and brush pick-up will begin on the east side of town and work west. Residents are asked to refrain from raking leaves into the street until the weekend prior to April 28.
“We’re only going to come down your street one time, so tell your neighbors,” Green said.