BROOKLYN - Some Coney Island residents hit Mermaid Avenue today armed with brooms to send a message to the community that having clean streets is good for business.

Dozens of volunteers braved the chilly weather sweeping sidewalks, picking up trash, and even pulling up weeds from the tree beds that line the heavily used commercial strip.

In addition to the volunteers, several city agencies and neighborhood improvement organizations participated in today's cleanup. Organizers say they want the businesses on Mermaid Avenue to prosper, and keeping the street looking as clean as possible is the first step.

Those who volunteered their time sweeping the street got a T-shirt and a free lunch.