City workers find way to quiet down early-morning street sweeping |

City workers find way to quiet down early-morning street sweeping

— Local attorney Geoff Petis is sleeping better in downtown Steamboat Springs these days thanks to some recent efforts from the city’s public works department.

City workers recently started turning off a loud pulsing mechanism on the street sweeping vehicles, which slowly gobble up particulates on downtown streets very early in the morning.

David Van Winkle, the city’s streets superintendent, said the pulses, which keep dirt and other material off of the filters on the street sweepers, can be briefly turned off during sweeping operations.

“We’re able to do that for a short period of time as a courtesy,” Van Winkle said. “It’s not as efficient, but it was a way we could compromise.”

The city’s early morning street sweeping operations downtown came under fire in recent months.

Petis and some other downtown residents complained about the noise and pointed out the sweepers violated the city’s own noise codes.

They urged the city to find a way to minimize the impact of the noise.

When city staff asked the Steamboat Springs City Council in February to change the noise codes to make an exemption for street sweepers in the early morning hours, the council heard the residents’ complaints and instead approved a temporary exemption to give staff some time to work with downtown residents about the noise issue.

Staff came up with the idea to turn off the pulsing mechanism to quiet the operations.

“They have made inroads in trying to make my slumber a better place, and they did, and I want to thank them,” Petis told the council. “They actually changed their operations to make my downtown living a better place, and I wanted you all to know that they actually did good stuff to make my living a better place, and I appreciate what they’ve done. I want you to know that small town government is a thing. It’s actually very important for people to step up and speak.”

The council approved the first reading of a permanent noise exemption for street sweepers on Tuesday.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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