Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An advertisement for undergrounding utility wires

I was involved in this issue starting around 2003, when I was on H Street Main Street and in the streetscape planning process I advocated for including electricity connections in treeboxes (or on light poles) to support festivals and such, and Pepco was intransigent, and then again when in the then Brookland Main Street program where the issue of undergrounding utilities on 12th Street NE in the commercial district came up as well.

Pepco argues that the cost of undergrounding is about $22 million/mile, or at least they did back then, which is about 15 times higher than national averages. (They were resistant to putting electric outlets in the streetlight poles on Barracks Row and they are still angry about how many years ago Adams Morgan Main Street had installed lighted sculpture-banners.)

(I've written about the Brookland situation before.  Basically the involved citizens were mostly focused on being a**holes to the city planners and consultants during the streetscape redesign planning process and not on developing a unified position arm-and-arm with the city and the planners vis-a-vis Pepco and their intransigence.  Then after the streetscape was constructed, some residents sued the city.  Talk about not knowing how to organize and make your case...)

So the fact that now there is a city task force on the issue, that elected officials care about seems pretty old news to me.  See "Storm result: D.C., Pepco to study underground utilities" from the Washington Times and the DC Mayoral press release "Mayor Vincent C. Gray Hosts First Meeting of Power Line Undergrounding Task Force."

But the photo (Kansas Avenue at Gallatin? Street NW, northwest corner) shows another reason to underground utility wires when possible.  Trees sure get butchered in the process of maintaining above-ground wires.



At 2:39 PM, Blogger IMGoph said...

Un-effing-believable. Does the tree still look like that, or did they just pull the whole thing down?


Post a Comment

<< Home