The City's Daytime Street Cleaning Program runs from April 1 to November 30 in most neighborhoods. The daytime program includes streets with posted schedules that begin after 4:59am and end before 5:01pm. In winter months, daytime street sweeping is extended for the North End, South End, and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. Daytime street sweeping in these neighborhoods continues through December 31, is suspended in January and February, and resumes March 1.
The City's Nighttime Street Cleaning Program runs year-round, weather permitting. This program cleans main roads, arterials, and commercial roads. Schedules are posted on street signs. This applies to streets swept late at night (between 12:01am and 7am, for example).
In any case, please always obey the dates posted on street signs. If no months are printed on a sign, then parking restrictions for that street are enforced year-round.
Incorrect / Missing Data
Why don't I see my street in the online database?
If your street is not found in the online database, first try a partial spelling (e.g. WASH instead of N WASHINGTON). If it still does not appear, then there are two cases to consider:
In the first case, if you know that the street has actual street signs on it for street cleaning, then please contact Public Works with all details (street name, neighborhood, cross streets, and the posted schedule) so that we can make sure it's entered in the database. In the meanwhile, always obey the street sign.
In the second case, if the street does not have signs on it, then the street is probably not part of the "posted" Neighborhood Street Cleaning program. Streets with posted parking restrictions are swept to the curb according to the schedule written on street signs. Other public streets in Boston are swept intermittently by Public Works, but not necessarily on a schedule, and not all the way to the curb enforced by parking restrictions. For questions or to report debris on such streets, call 311.
Why is my street listed under the wrong neighborhood?
For purposes of street cleaning, streets are organized by Public Works district yard. District yards cover territories which do not follow neighborhood boundaries. So, your street may appear to be listed under an adjacent neighborhood.
What do I do when discrepancy between the website/email and the posted signs?
If you find a discrepancy between the website/email and a posted street sign, then this email is wrong -- always obey the street sign.
The street cleaning towing program was reintroduced in 2007 at the request of residents asking for cleaner streets. Without involuntary towing, street sweepers were unable to reach the curb and collect 90% of the debris.
How are vehicles towed for street sweeping?
Towing for street sweeping violations is overseen by the Public Works Department. Such vehicles are towed by privately owned tow trucks to private lots, which is different from towing done by the Boston Transportation Department. Though the ticketing step is handled by BTD, the towing step is handled by PWD.
What happens if my vehicle is towed?
To locate and recover a towed vehicle, follow the instructions on towing page.
My car won't start. What can I do to avoid being towed?
Residents with disabled vehicles are advised to arrange to have their vehicle privately towed to a repair shop, before street sweeping is scheduled. The cost of having your vehicle ticketed, plus the maximum involuntary towing charge, plus storage charges will be much more expensive than the cost of having it privately towed.
Can I park immediately after the street sweeper has cleaned my street?
The City asks you observe and respect the times posted on the signs.
What happens on the 5th week of the month?
Be careful on the 5th week. Streets cleaned EVERY week ("Every Wednesday", for example) are also cleaned on the 5th week, and parking restrictions are enforced. For streets cleaned on alternate weeks (1st/3rd or 2nd/4th) which do not mention the 5th week, PWD asks that you try to move your vehicle as sweepers will be working weather permitting, but parking restrictions are not enforced.
What happens if it rains?
A common misperception is that street sweeping is always cancelled when it rains. In reality, light rain actually helps the sweeper clean the street. Constituents are advised to contact 311 to check for updated status of any cancellations due to rain.
What happens on weekends?
Some streets are swept at night and on weekends, especially commercial roads and main arteries. Obey the signs.
What happens on holidays?
Daytime street sweeping is suspended on city holidays, but nighttime sweeping schedules remain in effect. Constituents are advised to call 311 for exact details.
Will I get notified if street sweeping is cancelled?
Many times, street sweeping is not cancelled until after reminders have been sent out. Whenever possible, a cancellation notice will be sent to subscribers. Constituents are advised to contact 311 to check for updated status of any cancellations.
Reminders / Subscription
How do I receive reminders?
The City offers courtesy email reminders through the No-Tow program. To receive reminders, first search the online database for the streets you are interested in. When results are returned, you can select streets and enter your email address for reminders.