Pounds: In the paintWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mud Hens season is in full swing, with thousands of people walking Downtown to see a game and visit a restaurant or pub. And as we report on the growth of the Warehouse District this issue, what a terrible time to mark up the surrounding sidewalks with what is tantamount to graffiti.
Along the sidewalks on Monroe Street near Huron Street, outside the offices of Toledo Free Press and in front of the restaurants and businesses by Fifth Third Field, the locations of underground utility and cable lines are marked in bright orange, red and blue paint. Not a light chalky paint or substance that will fade in a week or two, but heavy, dark paint that stains the sidewalks for months upon months.
At this point in time, the locations of cables and lines and pipes must be well documented. I understand the safety concerns, but there has to be a better way to mark these lines than pretending Jackson Pollock works for a contractor. Is there no database where these lines are stored? They can’t use GPS or ground-penetrating radar? The city installed beautiful bricks along the sidewalk and now they are tagged with lines and directions.
We spend our time and our money to live and work here; this is our front yard. Power washing won’t take the paint off and you could get fined or arrested should you try.This mess was made by USIC Locating services. A USIC representative said the paint can be washed off with hot water and will fade within a few weeks, but there are lines on the street itself that have been tread upon by thousands of tires and you can still see them clearly.
My friend Bill Kline at The Blarney said, “The paint they’re using seems to be permanent. There are types of paint that are temporary, and it doesn’t seem like they’re using those. It just looks terrible. It just looks bad. They spent money on those new bricks, and now they’re covered in paint. I think that if they could find something more temporary, it wouldn’t be so much of a problem. Who knows when they’ll come out here to dig? They could do a little bit better job of managing when those are marked. It’s unsightly.”
Doug Stephens, commissioner of the city’s Division of Engineering Services, said about the spray paint, “We know it happens. Sometimes we don’t like that some of the pavement get marked up, but ultimately it should dissipate and be gone. We understand that utilities are required to mark that up under the Ohio Utilities Protection Service.”
Between the city, the Downtown Toledo Improvement District and my fellow Downtown business owners, there needs to be a discussion to keep this unnecessary mess from staining our sidewalks when we should be at our cleanest and most presentable.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.
Tags: Bill Kline, Division of Engineering Services, Doug Stephens, Downtown, Downtown Toledo Improvement District, Fifth Third Field, GPS, graffiti, Jackson Pollock, Mud Hens, Ohio Utilities Protection Service, The Blarney, underground, USIC, USIC Locating services, utility cables, Warehouse District