Can anyone explain to me why city staff felt the need to wash our streets this morning? We just had a huge rain storm yesterday, followed by several more hours of light rain showers. But yet, this morning as I rode to work along Dundas E, a giant water truck was spraying the sides of the road, spewing exhaust into the already smoggy, humid air.
I can see the need to do this occasionally after a few weeks go by without rainfall. The juice that drips out of green bins on to the streets during the collection process can leave behind a pretty nasty smell. Over time the dust, dirt and oil that accumulates from passing cars can get overwhelming during particularly dry periods as well. But after a few days of heavy rain, with more in the forecast, this just seems wasteful in so many ways.
To be honest though, the main reason this rubbed me the wrong way was that they decided to do this during the morning commute. A time when hundreds of cyclists are making their way downtown in that wonderful bike lane along Dundas E and others in the city. The driver did at least shut off the spray when passing cyclists but this is little compensation for the endless stream of water left in the bike lanes ahead. The effect of this street cleaning is that every cyclist I encountered this morning, myself included, ended up riding on the road, leaving the bike lane empty save for the water flowing along it.
Wouldn't it make more sense to do this overnight, when the streets are empty and exhaust output from other vehicles is at a minimum. Plus the sun isn't around to dry up the water and it's dirty payload before it makes it to the sewer grate. On hot days like this the water usually leaves half the filth on the street because the pavement is so hot the water evapourates before a lot of it makes it off the road.