Let’s Discuss: Who Should Be Responsible for Keeping Commercial Sidewalks Clean?

It looks like we, the residents of West Hollywood (or at least the residents who park at parking meters) are responsible for keeping the city’s commercial sidewalks clean. Sort of. We, and visitors to our city, are the ones paying the recent 33% increase in parking meter rates (now $2 an hour) to fund a commercial sidewalk deep cleaning program that City Hall launched in August.

That program has been the focus of a recent debate about whether the city is doing enough to keep business sidewalks clean. Owners of businesses on the 8800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, unhappy with the implementation and execution of the city’s sidewalk cleaning program, have engaged a contractor to clean the sidewalks in front of their businesses.

But while the city will be paying for power washing on a weekly basis (monthly in some areas), it is commercial business owners who are responsible for keeping sidewalks clean daily in front of their businesses.  That’s the practice in many other cities. In New York City, for example, the law states that “as a business owner, you are required to: Clean the sidewalk and gutters next to your business, extending from the building line to 18 inches into the street. Fine avoided: $100 – $300.”

Clearly that isn’t happening on some blocks in WeHo. The video above, shot recently in the Boystown nightlife area, was shared with WEHOville by the owner of a business in the Midtown area.

“Not sure how this is legal,” said the business owner who made the video, noting that he can get a $400 fine for leaving something he is selling sitting in front of his store. “However these bars are allowed to close at night and leave the front of their shops a disgusting mess. It should be required that they sweep and hose off the front each night.”

Would such daily (or nightly) by business owners as required by law cleaning reduce the need for the weekly and monthly power cleaning the city  is paying for?

So let’s discuss: Should local business owners be more aggressively fined  for not keeping the sidewalks in front of their businesses clean? And should they be required to pay the cost of power cleaning the sidewalks as well?

Please remember to keep the discussion focused on the issue and not on other commenters.


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Josh
Guest
Josh

The bar staff should be responsible for sweeping and cleaning up trash at the end of each night in front of their bar but on top of that the city should be cleaning as well. I don’t have a problem with raising prices on parking meters.

J Simmons
Guest
J Simmons

I would possible consider maybe business clean. But the bar area, there is god knows what after most nights. From broken glass, bar paraphernalia (napkins, straws, cups, fat off those nasty bacon hot dog carts. And of course VOMIT. That area need real City Sanitary Cleaning. For everyone’s safety. The professional cleaners wear adequate protection, who knows what sharp, points or feces is down there after a night out in the bars. An there is the grass median. That must require gardeners – and they should then do the sidewalks there. And the Holloway IHOP park/fountain should clean that whole… Read more »

WehoJoe
Guest
WehoJoe

Doesn’t anyone at city hall get out and walk. Walking the sidewalks in West Hollywood is like dodging land mines of trash, urine, vomit, gum and God knows what else. It’s a health hazard. I’m ashamed when friends come to visit.

J Simmons
Guest
J Simmons

Seriously, No. Nobody working in City Hall walks the Streets. Most have a 24/7 universal parking permit to park anywhere anytime. Why walk if you know you can find park, stay as long as you like, and never get a ticket.

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

Be responsible, be aware, and be accountable.
Not too difficult a formula, is it?

Ye olde shopkeeper with broom is a vision – perpetuate it.

Cy Husain
Guest

YES excellent point! But remember the business owning class ONLY supports “personal responsibility” and non-intervention of Government when it comes to the needs of working and poor people. For the wealthy business owners they support being showered with lavish Government Grants as opposed to surviving in the ruthless “free market,” Government protection of their interests up to and including military intervention abroad (with working and poor military enlistment, their bone spurs just get in the way), and freedom from taxes that ONLY apply to them so that the rest of US pay for THEIR services!

Jon K
Guest
Jon K

We need a full on press commitment by local business owners, residents, the city and everyone else to clean up our sidewalks and walkways. The public spaces in WEHO are deteriorating rapidly. Clearly, the new street cleaning implemented by the City is sub-par at best. We approve all these new developments and see all these fee increases but little improvement and shows there is zero focus on improving the walkability, cleanliness and streetscape in our community. City Council is asleep at the wheel on this issue. Great example of how far behind we really are on this issue: why in… Read more »

TheRealZam
Guest

I’m not sure as to whether I am truly qualified to comment on the increased parking costs as my disability precludes me from paying at the meters. Still, I once owned a business on SMB and roll several miles around town on a daily basis. After looking at the map of locations where the program paid for by the increased meter rates is being applied, I am a bit dumbfounded. It appears as the program is not being implemented for most of the boystown district, or at least not to it’s full extent. Map indicates that no sealant will be… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

This is one more example of a student council and feckless city bureaucracy more interested and committed to night life than to quality of life.

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

Let’s discuss, yes. We were promised action by way of a hefty increase in parking fees–that action, assuming claims that it has started are true, has not resulted in cleaner sidewalks–epic fail. Additionally, business owners need to take responsibility for some daily maintenance. Among the most shameful, the City Hall sidewalks, and the planter ledges–seriously? Right across the street, Hamburger Mary’s (one of the city’s public nuisances) is often soaked with vomit. Next door to HM is the hair salon–who wants to get their hair done surrounded by such filth? But the most shameful has to be the sorry state… Read more »

T
Guest

Have you seen the sidewalk in front f City Hall? Filthy. They should start by cleaning that.

Resident
Guest
Resident

Regardless of what city you reside, barf on the sidewalks and trash are both unfortunate casualties of nightlife. I always find it interesting that the trash aren’t changed out enough for the amount of traffic on SMB / Robertson / Melrose. The city should most certainly be responsible for power washing the sidewalks. And the business owners (retail, nightlife) should be responsible for maintaining their store/bar fronts. When is the powerwashing done? I don’t know how practical it is to powerwash in the dark (after bar hours) at (3-4am), but I think 6am is manageable for all fronts. (1) more… Read more »

13mikeking@gmail.com
Guest
13mikeking@gmail.com

They admit they where getting charged at the parking meters to clean up the sidewalks,but yet they’re debating how should clean up the sidewalks.sounds once again their taking money from tax payers & doing nothing.kill the libbys

13mikeking@gmail.com
Guest
13mikeking@gmail.com

They admit they where getting charged at the parking meters to clean up the sidewalks,but yet they’re debating how should clean up the sidewalks.sounds once again their taking money from tax payers & doing nothing.damlibbys