I live in an urban forest, partly populated by really big, old trees. My neighborhood was built up in the mid-1950′s so we have trees that are 50 to 60 years old. We also have another forest – of utility poles. Both forests have seen many storms and at least 2 small earthquakes. The utility poles carry electrical power (Pepco), telephone wires (Verizon) and cable (Comcast).
Some poles are in pretty bad shape, and the worst one in Holiday Park is this one with the orange X on it. The photo below, taken last week, shows the pole has a break in it and has a wrap of something like duct tape holding it somewhat together. Pepco installed a replacement pole, but the shakey-looking old thing remains because, although Pepco’s lines are off it, Verizon’s wires and Comcasts’ cables still have not been moved — and it has been months.
While we waited for Verizon and Comcast to remove their wires, the old pole has become increasingly decrepit. I received a reminder photo of the pole from a neighbor on January 3, and contacted Pepco again. (I’m on the executive committee of the neighborhood association, so I am fair game for emails with photos of things the neighbors find annoying.) Then I contacted Verizon. Did you know, you can’t contact Verizon with a community issue? They only are able to track problems associated with a particular phone number, and have no way of even assigning an issue number to a complaint about a public safety issue. It took me 30 minutes to find that out.
So, I turned to the government. (See, this is why we need the government.) I called the county general number and received a complaint number and a call-back from the Cable and Communications Services office. I sent photos to Mr. W. He sent an inspector to look at the broken pole. He called me back on Friday. He said Verizon and Comcast were given 24 hours to remove their wires. Today is January 9th, – that’s 4 days later. Wires were still on the pole. I emailed Mr W of the country government.
I heard back from Mr W that Verizon would not remove it’s wires until Comcast removed theirs. (Possibly this afternoon), Comcast reported to have removed their cables. Verizon has not. However, at this time, the pole no longer has contact with the ground. It has completely broken off at the base and is supported by (apparently) the Verizon wires. Check it out:
More photos were sent to the county office. With any luck the story will end happily tomorrow. If not, the utilities will be mentioned by name again. And again. And on Facebook, too.
Be well. Get involved. Make a difference.
Holiday Park Neighborhood Association