Here's why street sweepers could get in your way during rush hour

On busy streets during rush hour, there's no stopping and no parking on Toronto's major traffic arteries.

Toronto Police have launched crackdown after crackdown over the past year-and-a-half to keep traffic moving.

Unclogging congestion was a key 2014 election campaign promise from Mayor John Tory.

That's why a NEWSTALK 1010 listener who lives in the east end found it curious that a city street sweeper has been spotted several times crawling down the curb lane of Queen St. during the morning rush.

Drivers were left stuck in a traffic jam in Riverdale on Friday, as the vehicle slowly made its way west.

Mayor Tory has told NEWSTALK 1010 he's told the public service to give street sweeper procedures a second look, adding that deploying the vehicles on a busy route "shouldn't happen during rush hour."

A written statement from Tory's head of Communications says the Mayor is, "committed to getting Toronto moving by fighting traffic congestion and making sure it is easier to get around our city."

Officials with Toronto's Transportation Services Department say they only send street sweepers to a major artery at peak times when absolutely necessary.

The concern is the sewer grates.

A windy Fall week like this one means leaves and debris are piling up and there's the possibility of flooding when the weekend forecast is so rainy.

Rush hour is the only time there's a parking ban on a busy route like Queen St., so the city takes advantage and deploys its street sweepers.

In a written statement, Transportation Services spokesperson Cheryl San Juan said that staffers will work on keeping disruptions to a minimum.

"Staff will be reminded to be mindful of the traffic and pull off on a side street, where possible, to let the flow clear and then resume."

City policy calls for major traffic arteries to be swept twice per month.

Toronto spends about $2 million each year keep the streets tidy.