One Who Wanders (abiona) wrote,
One Who Wanders

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The Sidewalk Smashers Redux

There's been a lot of work going on with the pipes underneath the sidewalks around here. The process seems to involve demolishing half the pathway, leaving it open for days on end while they work on it, and then filling it up with gravel. They leave it like this for weeks, months even. The disruption has only been a slight irritant to me before now, mostly because the gravel makes it more difficult to ride my bike and occasionally causes me to wrench my ankle. I was annoyed when they ruined the antique stone slab sidewalks by breaking them into pieces ... whatever happened to the concept of leaving something as you found it? Whatever happened to cherishing a piece of our heritage? But no matter. It was minor.

But today, I am angry. This is what it looked like.

Their prior method of safety after their working hours was to toss a couple pieces of plywood over the large gaps left in the sidewalk. The distance between the board and the work area could cause accidents. They never felt entirely stable and they always sagged into the holes when you walked on them, but I could at least convince myself that the workers were putting up some effort. Tonight, as I walked home from work, I saw that they did not even do that. Do they only cover them if they feel like it now?

The pipes need to be repaired and replaced. I recognize this. But the care that needs to be taken with these sidewalks is of the utmost importance. There are children who live in these houses and play on the concrete path. There are working commuters who pass by at least twice a day on them. There are the people who walk their dogs, the people who are lost, the gas meter man coming to read the meter, and so on.

I don't want to be the one to cry "economic discrimination!", but frankly, if this work were being done in a certain well-to-do neighborhood named after a rodent with a large bushy tail, I don't think this abysmal level of safety would be tolerated. These gaps are at least five feet deep, enough to seriously injure someone.

How can you expect residents to take pride in their neighborhood when you leave their sidewalks in this condition?

How can you expect them to think that you care about them when you seem to encourage disaster right on their doorsteps?

How can you expect people to want to live here or move here when the sidewalks are in such dangerous condition?

Do you want people to walk in the streets!?

I'm really pissed off about this ridiculous situation. I'm writing a letter to the paper tomorrow, and I'm sending pictures. This is my neighborhood. Treat it right!

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