Electricity, Oakland Style

We were alerted to an unusual arrangement of power poles, quickly fixed after the last storm.  Yesterday we took a snapshot of some workers making additional repairs there.  Please take a close look at what passes for a temporary utility fix…what seems strange to you?

Utility Pole Or Two

Yes, you are seeing a half or quarter-sized pole and then a single full pole.  That smaller, broken pole is supported by an overhead cable as well as two brackets connected to the larger, standing pole.  Plenty of utility lines have been hung from the broken part!

We’re wondering what construction standards are getting followed with this dangling pole installation.  We know the brackets and broken pole aren’t exactly well-built elements.  Give us a windy storm or earthquake, and these lines probably would fall down again.

There’s a silver lining here:  it’s good to see some work getting done at this Montclair intersection yesterday.  Yet we’re not sure whether this “temporary fix” will stay there for months or years.  Are we tempting the fates?

2 thoughts on “Electricity, Oakland Style

  1. Good luck with that! A few interesting things about our infrastructure:

    Mountain Blvd. has been on the wait list for utility undergrounding since 1989. When we moved here in 2000, we were assured that the wires draped across our living room windows would be gone by 2010. Checked into it a few years ago, and found it was going to be pushed off to 2015. And now, I just checked, I see they’re saying there is a 40 year – yes 40 YEAR – wait for new undergrounding projects in Oakland. I’ll bet we won’t see this project completed until well past 2020. I’ll also bet the folks who originally petitioned for the undergrounding will be DEAD before they see it happen.


    And, to make you even happier about Oakland infrastructure – ever wonder why our streets suck? Wonder no more…

    “Currently on an 85-year resurfacing cycle, which means a street will be resurfaced once in your lifetime. The industry standard is a 25-year cycle.”


    As long as you accept that a telephone pole can fall onto your head like a pile-driver while taking a walk, you’ll be able to enjoy living here!

  2. I’m am becoming increasingly interested in how Oakland spends money. I am shocked at some of the financial decisions going back years and years.

    As I wrote last night,”Oakland is a Roman circus, ‘short-term government palliatives offered in place of a solution for significant long-term problems.”

    A new citizens group is just forming – Make Oakland Better Now. One of the three areas of focus is Transparency, Accountability and Budget. Another area is Infrastructure – streets included.

    Smart people, good at research, are needed. Some knowledge of public policy and ability to read those confusing financial statements helps! I am not one of the organizers but I am a volunteer.

    How long will this city of 370,000 remain shabby? As long as it is tolerated. We get what we settle for.

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