Central Avenue SID Sanitation Program
UPDATED 3/1/2013: Central Avenue SID Sidewalk Maintenance Program Ended on February 2013. The City of Jersey City now provides manual sweeping services for the district. __________________________________________________________________________
As many would agree, a clean business district is a happy business district. Although Jersey City's urban environment places a lot of wear and tear on its streetscapes, the Central Avenue business district strives to be a desirable shopping destination through its Streetscape Maintenance Operation (SMO). It is a key factor in attracting shoppers, new businesses, and creating much needed jobs.
For twenty years (1993-2013), the CASID partnered with the City of Jersey City to address sanitation concerns within the Central Avenue business district. The City matched the self imposed SID assessment 1:1 enabling a balanced partnership to care for the Heights' main street, Central Avenue. In 2013, that partnership came to an end.
This operation picked up where limited municipal resources leaves off. Paid for in part for by the State of New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Program, the CASID was able to employ a full time staff of four (4) local residents to provide supplemental maintenance services on the Avenue between the hours of 7:30 AM to 5 PM Monday thru Saturday and 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Sundays. The SMO was headed by a supervisor and directed by the CASID office to maintain a presentable streetscape appearance during normal business hours.
Central Avenue merchants are strongly encouraged to sweep their sidewalks at the beginning of each day. While they are indoors working hard to serve their customers, the SID’s staff swept up new litter; manages the forty six (46) litter receptacles throughout the district; coordinates municipal garbage pick-ups; relays garbage complaints and violations from member businesses to the City each morning; kept an inventory of streetscape fixtures in need of repair; landscapes; removes light graffiti and hand bills; and removed snow at public crosswalks during winter time. CASID staff was easily recognized by their uniforms which proudly read “STAFF” with the CASID logo. They handle nearly forty five (45) full bags of garbage (30 gallon) each day (315 bags a week; 16,380 bags a year) and an estimated 491,400 gallons of litter each year. The high volume of trash produced on Central Avenue is matched by the high volume of pedestrian traffic. Especially during the summer months, there is a marked increase in both.
This operation provides several important services on the Avenue including:
The SMO staff is always ready to greet and welcome shoppers with a smile. Dressed in uniform, these easily identifiable figures on the Avenue act as District Ambassadors. They are trained to deal with people and carry communication devices to quickly and efficiently address concerns on the Avenue with the CASID office.
The SMO staff is hard at work combating litter and eyesores on the Avenue seven (7) days a week.
While business owners are indoors working hard to service their customers, the CASID would like to remind them not to neglect their sidewalks.
Merchants are strongly encouraged to sweep their sidewalk at least once during the beginning of each day. The SMO is a supplement, not substitute, service to maintain the Avenue clean in partnership with local government and business owners.
There are many streetscape fixtures on Central Avenue (streetlights, sewer basins, parking meters, trees, garbage cans, benches, etc.). If a fixture were to fall into disrepair, it would then become a danger to the public and an eyesore. The CASID, through the SMO, has taken the initiative of keeping an inventory.
When practical, the CASID tries to repair streetscape fixtures in house. However, those repair jobs that go beyond the capabilities of the CASID are identified and reported to the proper authority.
As an example, the CASID keeps an inventory of the 133 streetlights within the district. Any streetlight found in disrepair is immediately reported to PSE&G. Those repairs are done almost immediately and the district continues to be a safe place during the evening hours.
Any member of the community that identifies a broken street fixture on Central Avenue can bring it to the attention of any SMO staff. They will then make a report and the CASID office will follow-up.
From tree pruning to cleaning out a hundred and fifteen (115) tree pits, there is plenty of landscaping work to do on Central Avenue especially in the spring season.
Any CASID member wishing to prune a tree within the district can consult with the CASID office. Although the SMO staff has been trained on the basics of proper tree pruning, jobs too big to handle are refereed to the Jersey City Department of Public Works.
The SMO staff also takes the initiative to address weeds which have a tendency to growing between the concrete, near fire hydrants and sewer basins.
Like any urban environment, graffiti and hand bills are factors on Central Avenue. The SMO staff takes every opportunity to remove these eyesores if not report them.
The CASID reminds all who wish to post a hand bill that there is a community bulletin board in the center of the district. Posting your hand bill or flier there is free of charge.
Because hand bills and fliers deface public property and ultimately becomes litter, the authorities are enforcing hand bill regulations in which violators are subject to fines.
Pictured here, the SMO staff is seen using a latter to remove a hand bill placed high up on a pedestrian sign.
During and after snow falls, the CASID SMO carries on with regular duties that includes snow removal in public spaces, clearing of passages to fire hydrants, garbage cans, benches, mail boxes, and cross walks (see before and after pictures below). To the disappointment of many CASID members, the SMO staff does not provide snow removal services for private businesses or properties. They do, however, assist business and property owners by reminding them of their responsibility to remove the snow. Sidewalks that are not properly maintained are reported to the authorities for enforcement.
Proper snow removal will be enforced with the passing of each snow fall. According to Jersey City Code Chapter 296 (Streets and Sidewalk Maintenance) it is the duty of every owner, occupant, or person having charge of a commercial building to clear the sidewalk of snow to the extent of one (1) foot outside the curb in front of the building with removal finishing within four (4) hours after snow has fallen. Each building owner or ground floor merchant is expected to do their part. Violators will immediately face fines of a $100.00 or more.