I must confess that I found it easy to avoid the construction on Somerset through Chinatown during the fall. Primrose runs parallel, and is car-free for a block of it, to boot!
But I did notice a safety cone marking some sort of sidewalk obstruction, right in the middle of the sidewalk near Rochester. I figured it was covering a little hole in the new walk, like a water shut off valve or something innocuous. Unfortunately winter came and no doubt crews would be back first thing in the spring to complete the job.
But no, it was covering something much bigger and more solid. New traffic signal posts. Right smack dab in the centre of the sidewalk. Squint and you can see that the old ones are nicely pushed off to the side, right flush with the buildings. Why couldn’t we just reuse those ones? No, wouldn’t it be more fun to put in new ones. Conspicuous new ones.
Do they align with the rows of trees? Or the fire hydrants and ped lights? Do they align with anything at all? See that the sidewalk plow has already decided to go around them.
Having sat on the design review committee for this project, I distinctly recall the committee insisting, ad nauseum, that utility poles –especially traffic signals and their control boxes– were to stay out of the sidewalk.
And in reviewing the plans, I note that poles along Somerset were kept in line with trees, signposts, and other “street furnishings”, all set similar distances back from the curb:
Public coöperation with the city only goes so far. We are not on-site supervisors. Maybe we should be.