To the Editor,
As I looked at the pictures on page 5 of the November 2 issue of members of the Civic Association and others doing the fall clean-up on Charles Street my gratitude quickly changed to frustration. They should not have been doing a clean-up that ought to be done on a nearly daily basis by the merchants. While some of the merchants clean up their bricks, treepit, and curb others do not, and this is inexcusable.
Charles Street, a major tourist attraction, should be pristine; instead it is all too often a mess. Every merchant should have e.g. a long-handled broom and dustpan and start the day by cleaning up litter and leaves.
We are at that time of year when the Business Association gets all excited about decorating their shops and lampposts. Their excitement about what is attractive while looking up for two months overlooks the twelve months that the street is mostly unattractive when looking down.
I was appalled last year when I walked along Charles Street for the Christmas Stroll and realized that no effort had been made to clean-up the street prior to the event (and I am sure that if they are entertaining at home the merchants tidy-up their living and dining rooms). It was worse the next morning with empty cups, etc. all along the street and many of the Special Event-No Parking Signs had not been removed.
This is utterly irresponsible, and the city should make it clear to the merchants (as it does for others holding special events) that they are expected to clean up the street. Also, as there is no parking, arrangements should be made for a streetsweeper to go up and down Charles Street several times before and after the stroll.
If the business association fails in its responsibilities, then it should not be allowed to have the stroll.
Charles Street would also look better if the litter bins were replaced with those on City Hall Plaza that have a solid top and a small horizontal opening. All too often the current bins get filled with household trash.
Also, there needs to be No Parking/Streetsweeping signs on Mt. Vernon and Chestnut Streets between River and Charles. These are suggestions that I have repeatedly made over the past year, yet nothing has been done.
Keeping Beacon HIll looking nice requires all of us to pick up litter and sweep our sidewalks and curbs.
Unfortunately it is a never-ending battle.