Keeping our streets, our parks and our roadways clean is one of the most important things we can do to improve the quality of life for our residents, to make New York a more attractive city to visit, and to become a better city for business.
Overall cleanliness even effects our crime rates, because when people see a city that is clean, descent and orderly, they are less likely to commit criminal acts.
The latest cleanliness statistics from the Mayor's management report show that the Department of Sanitation has increased acceptably clean streets to record levels in each month from May through August. And for fiscal year 1996, our cleanliness rating of 75.3 percent is higher than any year ever recorded.
Additionally, since 1993 we have reduced the number of "dirty districts" by 71.5 percent. And in June and July of this year -- for the first time since 1987 -- our city had no dirty districts at all.
Our city's parks have also gotten cleaner. The Parks Department's acceptable cleanliness rating improved from 76 percent in fiscal '95 to 89 percent in '96.
And our anti-graffiti initiatives have helped to fuel a 20% improvement in graffiti conditions ratings in small parks and playgrounds since the summer of 1993.
As for our roadways, the Department of transportation's Adopt-a-Highway program, reaches out to the private sector to partner with city government in keeping our highway system clean and free of debris. Currently, sponsors have adopted a total of 174 miles of city roadways, representing 46 percent of our arterial highways.
The sponsors fund contractor maintenance of the highway segments in exchange for roadside acknowledgements. The sponsored maintenance includes litter removal, weed trimming, hand mowing, and mechanical sweeping.
What is really significant is that we have not only been able to maintain service levels in these areas, but actually to improve services. And we are accomplishing these improvements at a time when we are actually reducing city expenditures.
These programs are some of the most dramatic examples in the nation of a city doing more with less.
Now, I would ask all New Yorkers to pitch in -- Because keeping our city clean is everybody's responsibility. And working together we can make New York the cleanest, most attractive, most descent city in America.
From Gracie Mansion, this is Rudy Giuliani.