work items for the Coalition?

22

Oct

work items for the Coalition?

Here’s something to consider:

One of the reasons that many of Providence’s streets are such a disaster is that the utility companies, after digging then patching, don’t return to resurface after their patches have sunk. Recently I learned (I think from John Nickelson? Someone else on this list was there at the time and can correct me if I’m wrong) that there is a 2-year statute of limitations on utilities fixing the streets they have dug up. So although they are contractually obligated to return streets to the condition they were in prior to the beginning of their work, if 2 years pass and the city doesn’t get on them about it, they get a free pass.

I assume that this is because the city doesn’t have enough staff to afford someone to do the follow-up.

Perhaps this city needs a volunteer group who can work with DPW on this issue. If we had a database of upcoming street work, volunteers could take records (digital photos would be easy) of the area, then take pictures after the work is done and every 6 months (or whatever). Since DPW doesn’t ride the utilities hard enough on fixing poor patch jobs within the 2-year enforcement period, a volunteer group could take this on and provide gratis the evidence that DPW needs in order to enforce the terms of the contracts they sign with the utility or construction companies that are working on and under our streets. While we’re too late to save some areas where over 2 years have alrady passed, perhaps we can make a contribution toward saving roads in the future.

I’d be quite happy to volunteer the occasional morning to ride around the city with a digital camera if I thought it would lead to safer, smoother streets. I suggest that PBC consider taking this on as an ongoing project at our next meeting (assuming, of course, that DPW would be on board).

Thoughts?

Also, responding to Mark’s recent group email:

I agree re sharrows. This city is not likely to implement sharrows before they’re adopted by AASHTO and FHWA. But if we talk about them with city councilors, planning dept staff, RIDOT staff, etc, the idea of them may not seem so foreign when the time comes to propose their use.

Re potholes: would anyone care to take a ride some nice Saturday to paint potholes and unsafe sewer grates? I’ll buy the bright orange paint.

Eric