Thursday, December 04, 2008


Doing My Civic Duty

About 100 feet from my shop's front door is an accident waiting to happen. For weeks...probably months, I have walked past this menacing foot high piece of steel post sticking out of the ground, and thought 'some kid is going to fall on that and get impaled'. It's not just a round pipe, but rather more like the shape of a tophat when looking down on it, with a rather sharp brim. I never really knew why this thing was sticking out of the ground, but I assumed there was some sort of sign there at one time, and that perhaps the City came by and cut it down for some reason, leaving this little hazard to await its victims.

Two weeks ago I took my little Boston Terrier, Stella, out for a pee break, and we went merrily about our walk when something or someone in the parking lot caught her attention. As puppies are prone to do, she lost focus on everything else around her and turned her head to see whomever or whatever caught her eye. When I called her to get her attention and continue our walk, she bounded through the air like a typical playful pup and landed on this abandoned post. A yelp like I have never heard filled the street and parking lot. Luckily she was more frightened than injured. How her tender belly didn't get punctured is a mystery.

I made my way back into my shop and immediately called City Hall. I explained the situation and the location of the post and was informed that the City doesn't own that property and is not responsible for removing it. They seemed to think that it belonged to the owner of the plaza. I called the property superintendent right away and they came to see me about it. I pointed out the post and the super told me that the City does own it. The super isn't even legally supposed to cut the grass in that area because it doesn't belong to the plaza, but they do it anyway because if he didn't, it would never get done. He recalls that there used to be a sign there a while back to indicate the location of a fire hydrant in the event it was covered with snow in the winter. I called the City back and told them that the super said it's not the plaza's property. In her most professional manner, the clerk on the phone told me "Well, he's full of it."

"Well, be that as it may," I told her, "apparently there was a fire hydrant sign on this post and something needs to be done about this before some kid wipes out and the City gets sued."
"Oh, is there a fire hydrant there?"
"Yes, on the other side of the sidewalk between the sidewalk and the road."
"Well, that's the Region's responsibility", she informed me.
"Oh my God! Are you serious? I can't believe something this simple is so hard to have resolved."
"I've already put a report in, so someone on the Parks and Road Maintenance crew will be out to take a look at it," she assured me.
"That would be terrific. Thank you for your help."

I continued our routine walks, taking care to make sure Stella steered clear of that post for about a week. On Friday last week a City truck pulled up in front of my shop and the worker asked if I was the guy who called about a post. I showed him where it was, and in no time he had it removed from the ground and had the hole filled. It was that easy - provided you had the right equipment to yank this cement-anchored sign from the ground.

It was such a little thing, but somehow I saw that it could seriously injure any one of the hundred or so little kids who travel along that path to the local school. All it takes is a bit of ice on the sidewalk, kids goofing around, pushing and shoving, and someone could have been seriously hurt. I wish I had done it sooner, before Stella landed on it. I'm just thankful that she didn't injure herself. Then I'd be kicking myself.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?