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I am a big fan of the city’s street-sweeping program. It does what it says it does—-sweep the streets—-and it creates some occasionally helpful anomalies on the parking scene. For instance, on pre-sweeping nights, you can generally find parking spaces in congested neighborhoods on the side of the street that’s gonna get a bath the next day. Sure, you gotta whisk you car away the next morning, but hey.

Yet there’s one thing I don’t quite understand about it: Why does the machine always seem to rumble down the block between, like, 3 and 5 a.m.? The sound or noise isn’t the problem, mind you. It has never awoken me. I’ve heard it during bouts of insomnia or trips to the bathroom that take place long before sunup. At that time, the street sweeper has no access to the grimy roadside but instead barrels right down the middle of the street, a space that generally has little debris. What’s the point?