As some of you know, I’ve been trying to find out the story behind this sidewalk blockade along NE 2 in Deep Deuce. What’s interesting is when city officials first claimed it was a utility that was responsible, the named utility was immediately responsive, sent folks out to the site and determined that this one was owned by the city’s water/waste water division headed up by Marsha Slaughter.
Debbie Ragan, representing this matter, responded that the sidewalk was built this way due to a water meter placement.
I asked the following questions. So far, weeks have passed with no response. Why the silence? I sent out a follow up email today:
We’re approaching a month since I started asking these questions. When can I expect answers?
1. What is the risk of lowering the grate (an inch or so) so that it is flush with the sidewalk and doesn’t impede pedestrian traffic? Is it really a life or death situation if the grate is lowered?
2. How big of a deal would it be to move the water meter if lowering the grate is unacceptable?
3. Regardless of expense, would this sort of sidewalk impediment be accepted in front of Devon tower? The Skirvin hotel? City Hall? The mayor’s house? The homes of Larry Nichols, Aubrey McClendon, Tom Ward or other prominent city leaders? Would you really tell them, “tough, it’s too expensive to move?”
4 Would it be acceptable to have a fenced grate in the middle of a street? If not, and if pedestrian access is now to be given equal (or better) footing with vehicular access, than why is this an acceptable sidewalk?
5. What does this sort of sidewalk arrangement say about Oklahoma City’s engineering standards? What does it say about the Oklahoma City Water/Waste Water Utilities Department? What does it say about its responsibility to provide residents with sidewalks that are as safe and free of barriers as streets are for cars? Or are we back to treating pedestrian access as an afterthought to vehicular access?