Preventing a tragedy
To the Editor:
The zombie poles (“Zombie poles to remain for months,” March 8) are not just an eyesore. They are a public safety hazard.
There are several zombie poles, (numbers 70, 82 and 87), on Midway Road that are severely rotting and cracked at the base. I called 911 a few weeks ago about the zombie pole next to the new pole 87. You can put your hand through the center of this pole as it balances on the wires.
These poles are made to hold up wires and not designed for the wires to support the pole. The copper telephone and cable TV wires will eventually break and the pole will come down, hopefully not on a passing motorist.
I suspect there are many more precarious zombie poles in similar degraded condition.
The Town Board could make it part of our franchise agreements that PSEG must coordinate with Verizon and Cablevision to install all wires when poles are replaced.
The best solution is to bury all cables and do away with utility poles completely. This is done in more advanced nations like Germany and the Netherlands to eliminate utility outages caused by severe weather.
The excuse by Verizon is that we must wait months to remove these poles because of the “complexity of requiring the use of a ferry” is unacceptable. Someone should tell Verizon that it is a 10-minute trip, not an overnight cruise.
The town should declare an emergency to have these unsafe zombie poles immediately removed or braced before someone is killed. Councilman Paul Shepherd has requested the highway superintendent to look into this. Verizon should be billed for any work the town might do to mitigate this hazard.
All too often government and corporations react only after a tragedy. We have an opportunity to prevent one.