File photo by Jason Ruiz.

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Long Beach has extended its forgiveness of street sweeping tickets for at least another month during the pandemic. The current program had been set to expire Oct. 31, but it will now extend through the end of November, city spokeswoman Jennifer Carey said today.

A memo this week from Long Beach Director of Public Works Eric Lopez to the city manager’s office noted that cars not moving for street sweeping has the potential to let litter, waste and sediment build up and end up in storm drains. Nevertheless, he recommended that the ticket forgiveness program be extended to Nov. 30.

At the outset of the pandemic, when it became clear that some residents would be forced to stay home when they would otherwise be at work, the City Council voted in March to stop issuing citations to residents but encouraged them to still move their vehicles on days the sweeper was scheduled to clean their streets.

The council has since voted multiple times to push back the enforcement date for street sweeping and created a program for those impacted by COVID-19 to have their citations waved.

Currently, the city is still writing street sweeping tickets, but residents can ask that they be forgiven.

“We are allowing more than one street sweeping citation to be forgiven, however, each instance of street sweeping forgiveness is granted on a case by case basis,” Carey said.

There is a downside to the forgiveness, according to city staff.

“Dismissal of street sweeping citations through this program has contributed to increased complaints regarding the quality of our sweeping service. Staff is unable to provide a quality sweep when vehicles are not moved,” Lopez wrote. “This can allow debris to accumulate along gutters.”

Lopez said in the memo that through Oct. 12 the city had received about 7,500 requests for citations to be forgiven. That amounts to about $525,000 in street sweeping revenue not collected by the city during that period.

The Lost Angeles Times reported last week that the City of Los Angeles had resumed issuing citations to vehicles not complying with parking rules.

Editor’s note: This story’s headline was updated to better reflect the text of the article.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.