‘It’s very bad down here:’ Downtown Seattle hopes ‘clean team’ will improve Third Ave

Sep 1, 2022, 3:59 PM | Updated: Sep 2, 2022, 11:56 am

clean team...

Photo by Sam Campbell

The Downtown Seattle Association, a coalition of businesses and community members tasked with making downtown Seattle an attractive place for visitors, workers, and residents, is unveiling a new fleet of mobile, rapid-response vehicles to keep the city streets clean.

Downtown Seattle attempts to entice workers from remote settings with a revitalized atmosphere

With their clean team ambassadors riding around on 18 new custom cleaning “trikes,” the team will be cleaning up trash and biohazard around the city center neighborhoods downtown, covering a 285-block radius from the I-5 corridor up to the waterfront.

The fleet is more than doubling in size, with the current trash cleaning squad made up of only 12 trikes. The group currently is responsible for picking up 1.4 million gallons of trash last year.

The public can reach these ambassadors by phone or through the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) website where people can report a mess to be cleaned up. One team member told KIRO Newsradio that messes can include everything from trash to graffiti to human feces to needles.

Will it be enough to address concerns from business owners and workers in the downtown area, frustrated with the state of the Third Ave. corridor?

KIRO Newsradio interviewed several workers in the downtown area for their thoughts on the new clean team.

“They need to expand it. It’s very bad down here, especially when you go to like Third and stuff. It’s terrible,” a worker in the downtown area told KIRO Newsradio.

The clean team program is being funded by ratepayers, which are the businesses and property owners within the MID. The ratepayers pay the MID for services and programs — the clean team being one of them. Their budget for 2022-2023 is $15.5 million, part of which is being used for these new trikes.

The current response time of the clean team is anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, but with the new trikes, they are hoping to cut that response time in half.

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‘It’s very bad down here:’ Downtown Seattle hopes ‘clean team’ will improve Third Ave