Friday, May 29, 2009

Little things make a difference


Winter ... then roadwork. How road reconstruction is handled makes a big difference to motorists and pedestrians too. Last year, on Preston, contractors used crowd control barricades to separate sidewalks from dug-up roads. These barriers, silver colored and looking vaguely like old bedsteads, have side legs that extended a full foot onto the sidewalk, narrowing the already chopped up walking space and rendering passage impossible for strollers, walkers, or wheelchairs. They also frequently toppled/were pushed over into the construction holes.
This year on Preston the preferred fencing is the thin high wire fence panel system. Taggart, working on the north end of the street, drills two holes in the sidewalk and bolts down the barricade foot parallel to the line of the curb. The result is neat, with much of the sidewalk available to pedestrians. Greenbelt, working further south on Preston, places the foot loose on the sidewalk. Sometimes, as shown in the top picture, the other half of the foot extends out over the street; in other cases the entire fence is pushed in a foot or two from the curb, leaving almost no space on the sidewalk. The feet can also be a trip hazard.
It is interesting how a little bit more care and consideration and installation expense works so much better for the Taggart method.
Now, the biggest problem remaining is that the fences are so high, and walks so narrow, that it is impossible to proceed while holding an umbrella. Either the fences need to be shorter, or for it to stop raining already!

1 comment:

  1. These standard 6' Mod-U-Loc fences are used because they're portable. The whole purpose of those feet is to keep the fence from toppling over. The "Taggart" method you describe has little protection from lateral movement--it wouldn't take much force to break the fence from its drilled footing.

    Furthermore, in a construction zone, fences often need to be moved many times, which means securing them into a sidewalk is not always a viable option.