You regulars keeping track of the ongoing utility pole issue on Shelby Street will be happy to see this update. The reader who has helped to keep me informed of the utility pole issues surrounding the reconstruction of the sidewalk adjacent to the Shelby Street cycle track sent in the attached photos today. As you can see, the offending pole has been moved completely out of the sidewalk and is now in the grass and poses no risks to pedestrians, the disabled or those who may be pushing a stroller.
The story of how this finally came to pass is an interesting one and leaves me wondering how much of an affect we really had here other than to simply report that the issue was taking place. The reader, after having little to no luck with getting DPW to move the pole, contacted IPL. After a couple of days of back and forth emails as well as an on-site visit, IPL agreed to move the pole.
My communications with the DPW uncovered that the city is entitled to 50 “free relocates” per year and the movement of this pole was one of those free relocates. Regardless, you can see that the pole is now totally out of the sidewalk and the project itself seems to nearly be on it’s feet with preliminary striping guides laid out on the pavement.
In conclusion, it goes without saying that if citizens had not spoken up about this issue, we would have been stuck with a utility pole in the sidewalk and life would have went on. This case illustrates that there are more than just a few people interested in a top notch built environment and that we will all go above and beyond to try and make it happen; even if it is simply the movement of a utility pole out of a sidewalk and into the adjacent grass.