Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Haiku I

October chill,
Leaves carpet
Gabriel Park

Monday, October 30, 2006

A small job for "The City that Works"

About five years ago the City of Portland put in a new, much-needed sidewalk along Bertha Court. Next to it, workers constructed a concrete block retaining wall to hold back the embankment. The blocks weren’t mortared, and now three or four have dislodged, fallen out and are in the sidewalk. (See photos.)

For the record, today I left a message with the Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) about the deteriorating wall. Specifically, as instructed, I left: a description of the problem, my name and phone number. The instructions came from the recorded voice of one Bill Long, PDOT’s structure supervisor. He was “on the phone or away from the desk.”

Reaching Bill’s voice mail required two calls to the City/County referral receptionists. The first got me through to PDOT, where the receptionist gave me Bill’s name as the go-to guy. But her attempt to forward my call produced a click, a dead line and the familiar “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again….”

On my second call to City/County referral, I just asked for Bill directly, got through to his voice mail and left my message.

I mention all this by way of starting the clock running on the City’s response to a small nuisance that, in the worse case could cause injury and have liability implications. Anything from stubbed toes or worse.

I’ll keep you informed. At some point I may want to refer Bill and others at PDOT to this little narrative on The Red Electric.