City continues to clean sand off of streets

City crews work to clean sand off of streets. The sand was left from several winter storms.

WICHITA, Kansas – Got Sand? There appears to be plenty of it on Wichita streets after the big snowstorm this winter. But, when will it go away? KSN asked city crews.

“We normally sweep streets 24-hours a day. Five days per week,” says Joe Pajor with Wichita Public Works. “We have adjusted our schedule and taken all of our resources and put two sweepers on second shift and all of the rest of the sweepers and operators on third shift so they are sweeping overnight.”

Pajor says the overnight crews can get more done, because there is less traffic and because street sweepers only move about seven or eight miles an hour.

Not fast enough for some.

“They put it down so they should pick it up,” says Wichita resident, Shirley Journey. “I sweep my porch, and I sweep it right into there for them to pick up.”

Journey’s sidewalk in front of her house is 100 percent covered with sand, and she thinks the city should get rid of it. But, that’s not city policy.

“The adjacent property owner is responsible for removing the sand or anything else that might be blocking the sidewalks to keep it safe and passable,” explains Pajor. “We do not fine people for not cleaning their sidewalks, but, if there is a problem, then we will send them a letter to have them clean it up.”

Pajor goes on to say the best thing to do is for property owners to get rid of the sand on their streets by cleaning it up and putting it in their trash.

KSN asked if it’s okay to put sand in the trash.

“We recommend it,” says Pajor. “But, don’t overload your container. The poly carts have limited capacity up to a couple of hundred pounds. Keep in mind, you can overload those.”

While Pajor says the city will not fine people for not cleaning it up, the city also recommends disposing of the sand in your own trash. Some business owners say they are giving the sand back to the city.

“We are sweeping it back into the gutter because we heard the city was going to come along and pick it up and clean it up,” says Lyle Brumbaugh with Holleicke-Perrin Tires. “But, that hasn’t happened yet.”

Brumbaugh’s parking lot and sidewalks are immaculate. Clean and free of sand.

“If you look down the street, you can see where our sidewalk ends, that’s for sure,” says Brumbaugh. “Not everyone sweeps their sidewalks. We do. It’s just the right thing to do for our customers.”

City officials say they will continue to run, continuous shifts of street sweeping.

“But, just know this process is going to take one to two months.”

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