In this week’s Twist of Lime Spaceman continues his InnerSpace column with an anecdote about early morning construction and civic engagement. Read up and Lime on.
Ahhh…. Saturday morning, it’s 7a.m. and everything feels fine and marvelous. My back feels tremendous, as opposed to last week when I thought I might require surgery or be severely hampered for weeks and … I don’t have to get up! I’m really about to enjoy this qui- KCAWETERCNOCPARC. Exactly, what the hell right?!? Instead of usual routine Saturday noise, I wake up to construction equipment replacing chunks of sidewalk up and down my street, and boxing me in.
Now, let me start by stating I’m all for routine safety checks and neighborhood improvements. Things should run properly and accordingly, barring no mishaps or emergencies. However, when there is no imminent threat of danger or catastrophe hasn’t struck then stick to the protocol please. Your chance to catch up at work should not come up at the expense of me catching up on sleep or enjoying a relaxing, slow roll in to my weekend. You’re replacing a piece of a sidewalk.
I woke up perturbed due to the clunky clamor and destruction occurring. My real point of irritability and contention was the lack of consideration and communication on behalf of the city/construction company. In the weeks and days before this project there was never a mention of sidewalk replacements. The consistent 7-12 construction workers who work in the area never once spoke of or hung any signage to alert residents of these procedures, never mind at seven a.m. on a Saturday morning. After a few moments of wondering I had to ask some questions. There happened to be a couple of gentleman working on the sidewalk and a cop on detail.
I just wanted to ask a couple of questions because I honestly couldn’t believe this could happen. I actually had cones at the end of my steps and it was cautioned off from the rails. You had to step over or do the limbo if you wanted to exit. They were planning to pour and set wet concrete in front of my home. I can’t get a heads up you’re roping me off and causing havoc and a disturbance in front of my residence?
I walked up to the gentlemen and asked nicely if there had been some communication about the pavement being done. One worker said there might have been some signs and they might have been ripped down. I looked at him and simply asked really followed by think not. The cop also interjected that you know if the city wants to do something they just get it done. I guess you might hear some dirty city truths in a conversation involving construction. I offered another quizzical look and asked if that was really his answer. We looked at each other, knowingly distrustful. I work and wake up like them, but I couldn’t help but think it was a neighborhood thing. I told them it wasn’t fair to ruin someone’s morning or movements without fair warning. What if they were the ones to experience this dysfunction? That question actually elicited a understanding response, although I did not receive a definite answer or an agreement to stop. The operation was definitely upsetting me, so I set out to document the event, hence the prior photos. I took some photos and returned to my porch to speak with a neighbor.
A few minutes after I had spoken with the gentlemen, but within moments of having taken the photos, one of the men I spoke with approached me. He said I had a valid point and he could come back on Monday and finish the job in front of my house. He mentioned doing the same thing in Brookline and catching some discord. I thought it ironic I mentioned Brookline in remarks to my neighbor. I found his timing after the photos rather interesting too. I thanked him and the guys for giving me a somewhat uninterrupted Saturday morning, since some of my neighbors would not be getting skipped either because they didn’t speak up or they didn’t know. I still don’t know which one it was.
I’m going to research a couple of policies and procedures. When things hit so close to home they often make you think a little harder about the situation. It really is time for more civic engagement. Gotta know what’s going on…