I won’t try to recall how many months the residents, merchants and visitors in the Castro neighborhood were expected to be patient with noise, dust and general chaos while construction workers widened the sidewalks and installed bronze plaques honoring LGBT persons in history.
During that time, a Twitter pal of mine in Brazil posted photos from his visit to the Bay Area. The pictures in the Castro showed him posing next to open trenches and orange barricades.
The noise, dust and general chaos have resumed, albeit on a smaller scale. This time it’s a different project under those new sidewalks, and recently installed concrete is being torn out of the ground to replace sewer equipment.
Anyone who has lived in a city — or anyplace else — for very long has seen a lot of backward planning. If the sewer needed replacement, it should have been started and completed before the aesthetic work. Often, though, that isn’t the way it’s done. Very few people should be surprised by the current mess.
I’ll be fair and consider the possibility that the sewer seemed fine when the sidewalk upgrades were started, and then a new problem came out of left field. That sort of open-mindedness makes a nicer person, but it can also make a damned fool. I’ve been warned about it many times, right before making an ass of myself with kindness.
At the end of this post, you’ll find a link to a local news story on the topic. Although the contractor may be liable for damage, the bronze plaques shouldn’t be damaged in the first place. They honor people who have made our lives better, and they deserve the best care.
I hope someone has scrutinized records of time capsules and other items which may be stored under the sidewalk in the contractor’s work area. We should never sit back and trust things are being done right. Usually, that’s a lot more naive than just being open-minded and kind.