Thursday, August 20, 2020

Weedy obstruction gets whacked

Weeds that blocked the sidewalk have been removed. Now, anyone want to report that campaign sign illegally posted in the right-of-way? Photo: Mary Newsom
Here’s a quick update to “A good walk spoiled," about the problem of vegetation, leaves and mud obstructing sidewalks. (Headline: Report it to the city via 311, via the “CLT+” smartphone app, or online here – it’s considered a nuisance report).

After reporting it to 311 on Aug. 11, I got a call Monday, Aug. 17, from a city code enforcement inspector. He needed a specific address for the perennial problem on the Runnymede Lane sidewalk – he had to know which inspector’s territory it was in. Google Maps provided addresses for several houses that back onto Runnymede, whose owners may well not know they’re responsible for cleaning the sidewalk on the other side of a large stockade fence at the rear of their lots. It’s a spot where leaves, mud and other debris have stacked up for years.

So, hopeful sign!

Then I asked about the weeds invading the sidewalk on Providence Road where it crosses Briar Creek. The inspector told me that Duke Energy owns the property. He indicated that sometimes Duke is not speedy in getting things like this taken care of.

So I decided to appeal to the City Council member for that district - Tariq Bokhari. I emailed him about it, and got a nice reply from a staffer, who said she had reported it to Duke.

It was cleared out on Wednesday.

I can’t say for sure that getting an email from a City Council member lit a fire under the power company or whether they’d have gotten to it anyway.

But … good for Duke for clearing that sidewalk. The sidewalk is now passable, if not pretty, and you can even see the creek. (Its water this morning was reasonably clear.)

And in the future, let’s hope the city can make that sidewalk language in the city code less troublesome.