On Friday, April 8, the City of Los Angeles unveiled its new CleanStreetsLA Index, which features an interactive map rating the cleanliness of every street in the city. Each street is given a numerical grade of 1 (clean), 2 (somewhat clean) or 3 (not clean). The index is the result of a massive effort earlier this year, in which, as part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Clean Streets Initiative, the Bureau of Sanitation drove and rated all 22,000+ miles of the city’s streets. Scores were based on four factors: litter, weeds, bulky items and illegal dumping.
The Clean Streets Index map is easy to use — enter a zip code or address, and then zoom and drag to move around – and it captures the state of each street as it appeared during the survey effort. Unlike traffic maps, this one isn’t live, so it doesn’t change from day to day as trash is deposited or collected, but the survey is scheduled to be repeated, with map updates, every three months, which will eventually provide a picture of patterns over time.
According to the map’s web page, the data the survey provides will help the city plan clean routes to schools, prevent illegal dumping, and deploy trash bins more effectively.
In an editorial yesterday, the Los Angeles Times, which last year reported that nearly “more than one-third of requests to remove refuse from neighborhoods in Central, Northeast and South L.A. were ignored,” hailed the Clean Streets Index as a useful tool for residents, who will now have readily-available, objective data to use when complaining about dumping and litter in their neighborhoods. It should also mean, said the Times, that residents will have to do less work to document poor sanitation services, and that the city will have better data to work from in focusing its own clean-up efforts, so it isn’t constantly in reactive mode:
Perhaps most important, CleanStat establishes the city’s first measurable standards for what L.A.’s streets should look like. Now it’s up to city officials and the Bureau of Sanitation to use the data they’re finally gathering to deliver better results all across town. Keeping only 60% of the blocks clean is a failing grade.
So how clean is your street? Now you know…and so does the city.