Looking Out for Your Safety

[UPDATE 13 JULY] According to PGE’s pole guy, it’s not their pole. It belongs to Qwest. So they’re passing the letter along…

In response to this letter, I got a very nice call saying they’d have an inspector look at it next week and thanking me for the photos.

Dear PGE:

I’m writing to report an unsafe situation with a power pole on the west side of [redacted] Avenue, just south of the intersection at SE Belmont St.

The attached photo printouts show the location and results of a brief incident that took place yesterday afternoon (7 July) as I was returning to my car after lunch. The pole is supported by guy wires that extend north into the grass border between the sidewalk and the parking strip. The pole has a street number, an ID and bar code of [redacted], and several medallions attached to the pole.

Slightly Dangerous Power PoleLoose Wires

My car was in the first space of the parking strip, where the white truck appears in the first image. I was walking to my car, talking to my lunch partner, when I felt my leg brush against something. It was barely noticeable, but it was the loose ends of a guy wire attached to the pole.

There are two three-strand metal wires on the farthest offset guy for the pole. Both are loose, end well above ground level, and one of them, at least, is pretty sharp. I didn’t really feel like testing the other one. As I said, it was barely noticeable when I brushed against it, but by the time I’d walked a few more feet to the door of my car, blood was running freely down my calf from a gash four inches long.

Where You Can Gash YourselfBloody Leg

The last picture is actually the earliest of the images, taken after I’d driven the few blocks back to my home, and after I’d wiped off the first wash of blood when I got in my car.

Now I know it’s not electricity, and my gash, though bloody and long, was pretty shallow, but if I’d brushed up against the same wire with more force, or if my skin at the age of nearly fifty wasn’t so thick — say, for instance that I’d been one of the children from the Montessori school across the street — something sharp enough to make a slice like that could do some serious tissue damage.

So I’d like to make sure you and the city know of this hazard. More importantly, I’d like you to make sure that some sort of protector is placed on those wires so that they are no longer a hazard. If it’s not technically your responsibility for some reason, I’m sure you know better than I who is responsible for its maintenance.


Darrel Plant

Naturally, it was the same leg on which I’ve busted the knee and ankle.

To take your mind off the gore, cats!

Cats on the back patio.