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Since You Asked: And we don't do windows

I often see the street cleaner going down my street. I wonder why the dates of cleaning aren't published so residents can move their cars, and the cleaning process allowed to do some good? This rather than just going down the middle of the street missing all the areas with buildup of dirt and debris.

— Jim L., Medford

Well, Jim, thank providence that the city of Medford is cleaning your streets instead of the Since You Asked Dirt Abatement Reserve Squadron. If we were behind the wheel of those sweepers, we'd just nudge cars and RVs out of the way like we do furniture and other obstacles when vacuuming the lair at Since You Asked World Headquarters. What's a nick here and there when we're just going to replace that furniture in a few years? We never liked those color combinations, anyway. And that carpet with the stains! Maybe we should just rip it up, put down a layer of asphalt and be done with it.

Streets are swept about every six weeks in Medford. Sometimes unforeseen events such as traffic accidents disrupt the sweepers' schedule.

"Police call and say, 'We need a sweeper to clean up an accident,' " said Cory Crebbin, Medford's public works director.

Street sweepers also have a limited amount of time to clean streets, so they do all they can during a short window of time, making a set street-by-street schedule difficult to achieve. That helps keep costs down as well, Crebbin said.

Street sweeping must be done before 7 a.m. in commercial areas and after 7 a.m. in residential areas because of city noise ordinances, he said.

"When they hear the sweeper, some people do come out and move their cars," he said. "The general expectation is that people will park on their property. Of course, that's not always the case."

By the way, many neighborhoods have CC&Rs ("covenants, codes and restrictions" — neighborhood rules in addition to city municipal codes) that prohibit all street parking, and at the very least Medford's Municipal Code 6.345 limits parking in any one location to five consecutive days (other cities have similar rules).

So if you see the street sweeper's pattern worn so well around a permanently parked car that it's creating a ledge in the pavement, gently nudge the owner or contact the city's code enforcement folks (774-2016 in Medford) to get it moved.

E-mail questions to: youasked@mailtribune.com.