Friday, November 18, 2011

I wasn't paying attention

I took this photo last night while walking the dog. On the way back to the house I came across this "Steel Plates Ahead" sign in the middle of the sidewalk on Chicago Ave - a few hundred feet from my home. I first came across this sign a couple of nights before, so I know it has been here for a few days. Contractors are doing utility work and repaving streets in the neighborhood. There was another sign in the sidewalk coming from the opposite direction, and rubble and equipment on sidewalks in other locations nearby.

I understand that this is necessary work, and that it is going to create inconveniences that everyone will have to deal with. I also know that there is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. This sign is an obstruction that pedestrians must negotiate around by walking in the street. How is this acceptable? It is clear proof that MCDOT is not managing the right-of-way to keep it safe and accessible to pedestrians.

The contractor is doing something wrong, but MCDOT is responsible for holding the contractor to certain standards. MCDOT cannot claim that they are not aware of these violation, because I have been screaming about them for years now. Why can't MCDOT fix this universal problem? Why are they contracting with companies that don't follow ADA guidelines - even a little?

There is an hierarchy when it comes to construction projects and who must suffer the consequences. It goes something like this:

Contractors - Do everything you can to accommodate their needs.

Drivers - Must be impacted as little as possible.

Bikers - Keep the road open and they can get by.

Pedestrians - Huh? What did you say? I wasn't paying attention.

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