Friday, November 14, 2008

Eye Sore



I’ve been watching this eye sore all week…it developed over the weekend and festered there until yesterday when a city sanitation truck, on their regular weekly pickup route, mechanically emptied the trash can.


An hour and half later a city car drove up and a man got out, walked up to the door of the house and left this orange tag. Being nosey I checked out the note – from the city health department – "clean up or else".

The notice on the door did bring out someone to clean up the garbage on the sidewalk, lawn and in the street but the trash can and the shopping cart still block the sidewalk as I write this, more than 24 hours later. OK, so this is no longer a health issue but there are lots of walkers out there who use the sidewalks in my neighborhood. This particular property is owned by an absentee landlord, but there are several other homeowners near by who block the sidewalk on a regular basis with their trash cans, garbage, and overgrown shrubbery. Is there a sidewalk inspector we should call to complain if the offenders don't listen or can't be found?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there an answer for non-urban dwellers to distressing trash problems? There are some unenlightened folks who consider the forest as a vast trash barrel, a good place to throw litter, mainly beer cans, bottles and "nips", household garbage, old swimming pools, appliances, exercise equipment, tires and unmentionables. My walking and jogging neighbors and I can handle litter. I admit that as a Swamp Yankee, I enjoy making a few extra pennies everyday in beer can revenue... The Public Works Department is responsive but too busy picking up leaves to do anything else at this time of year...And they will not or are not permitted to go down steep gullies and dredge up the unsightly stuff that accumulates in some particularly-attractive-to-trash-throwers spots. Yesterday I performed a heroic trash pick up: Down a slippery embankment, I spied a cardboard crate, an old quilt and a big black garbage bag. Intrepidly, I slid down the leafy slope, only falling, softly, a couple of times. The cardboard and ratty quilt were no problem and lickety split I returned for the big heavy, black garbage bag. Cautiously, I took a peek inside the bag, expecting the worst, something requiring a police report. The smell was unmistakably indicative of rotting flesh. Averting my face and holding my breath, my apprehensive eyes integrated the contents of the bag as a large empty plastic jug of bleach and a furry body! Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to dispose of a hefty raccoon. I do not know if the bleach had any connection to the cadaver. A preservative? An attempt at embalming? I decided to let the raccoon decompose without the encumbrance of the coffin/bag and pushed the remains over the bank. Today’s warm rain, turkey vultures, carrion beetles and other scavengers will make short work of it. With a gloved hand, the cardboard, quilt, plastic bottle and original black bag were piled into yet another trash bag and placed in my own garbage can. Suffered some guilt about not recycling the whole sordid mess but got over it. If I had broken my leg collecting that detritus, could I have sued the landowner for having an attractive nuisance?

Anonymous said...

Rick Romano, 344-3532, Middletown's sidewalk inspector!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Romano,

In case you read this blog, and these comments, please also ticket cars that are parked over the sidewalk. Especially in the downtown neighborhoods. Cars, SUVs, and trucks parked in this manner have the effect of ruining a pleasant walk, especially on a rainy day when one is forced to venture out into the street due to the tons of gleaming, grinning steel and plastic blocking one's path. And if it is a hazard for the run-of-the-mill pedestrian, imagine how difficult and dangerous such obstacle courses are for the elderly and infirm, not to mention parents with strollers and absent-minded professors with their noses in books.

So, please, oh please, Mr. Romano, go after these scofflaws, with our collective pedestrian blessing.

To Sir with Love,

Mr Chips

p.s. And while you're at it, could you remind the clueless householders of the world to remove their garbage bins from the verge (a.k.a. sidewalk buffer, berm, tree lawn, nature strip, utility strip, planting strip, parkway, hell strip, or devil's strip) after they've been emptied by the garbage truck? It appears that many have come to believe that the verge is the proper permanent resting place of the new wheeled bins. As the picture in the story indicates, the matter is even more urgent in neighborhoods where the city has seen fit to put the sidewalk immediately adjacent to the roadway, without any verge. Perhaps such bins should be taken away, returned only after the paying of a stiff fine.

Anonymous said...

I live on the south end of High Street. Sometimes i forget to bring my trash can in because I have worked overtime or something- and it sits out an extra day- should i get a ticket when those in the 'burbs do not? I am human too. I am responsible for shoveling the side walk in front of my house and removing leaves off of said walk. I also unofficially keep that tree line area clean from Wesleyan trash and the trash from those on their 'strolls.' If i have a friend or two over and the back wheels of their car are over the side walk or they park in the space past the tree line do it deserve a fine every time? I appreciate a clean tree line urban design wise i really do, however realistically i tried parking on the street before. After 6 months of almost having my legs taken off exiting my car I paved a space for myself as much as I do not like paving. Trust. I would have done pavers or something greener and design savvy, and if anyone would like to contribute to that financially feel free to help me out.

It is give and take- If my friends are not allowed to park in my space ( which I paid for in my deed and am taxed upon) or my back wheels of my car may hit the side walk in which as a homeowner i maintain ( and i do not get a tax break for this duty) and i am to be unjustly ticketed as a urbanite - please remove the space from my property taxes and allow me to discontinue being the janitor for the sidewalk in front of my house. I'd trade this task and you can ticket me.

I understand that trash on the curb is a nuisance, but take into consideration us urbanites have lives too, city workers have pick up times, and some of us are doing the best we can with with the means we have. I do not like curbside trash either, but I would rather have the freedom of the homeowner preserved than to tell others how they should act on their property. I am sorry if this disrupts some one's stroll. I would hate the Eye to become a tattle-tale board message with snap shots of homes with issues that in the eyes of some are unsightly.

madamnirvana

Madam Nirvana said...

I live on the south end of High Street. Sometimes i forget to bring my trash can in because I have worked overtime or something- and it sits out an extra day- should i get a ticket when those in the 'burbs do not? I am human too. I am responsible for shoveling the side walk in front of my house and removing leaves off of said walk. I also unofficially keep that tree line area clean from Wesleyan trash and the trash from those on their 'strolls.' If i have a friend or two over and the back wheels of their car are over the side walk or they park in the space past the tree line do it deserve a fine every time? I appreciate a clean tree line urban design wise i really do, however realistically i tried parking on the street before. After 6 months of almost having my legs taken off exiting my car I paved a space for myself as much as I do not like paving. Trust. I would have done pavers or something greener and design savvy, and if anyone would like to contribute to that financially feel free to help me out.

It is give and take- If my friends are not allowed to park in my space ( which I paid for in my deed and am taxed upon) or my back wheels of my car may hit the side walk in which as a homeowner i maintain ( and i do not get a tax break for this duty) and i am to be unjustly ticketed as a urbanite - please remove the space from my property taxes and allow me to discontinue being the janitor for the sidewalk in front of my house. I'd trade this task and you can ticket me.

I understand that trash on the curb is a nuisance, but take into consideration us urbanites have lives too, city workers have pick up times, and some of us are doing the best we can with with the means we have. I do not like curbside trash either, but I would rather have the freedom of the homeowner preserved than to tell others how they should act on their property. I am sorry if this disrupts some one's stroll. I would hate the Eye to become a tattle-tale board message with snap shots of homes with issues that in the eyes of some are unsightly.

madamnirvana

Madam Nirvana said...

I think perhaps the issue of cars parked on the sidewalk or garbage cans left out all the time is more of an issue of too many tenants in too little space. The city health officials should look into how many tenants are really in homes downtown & conditions landlords create. Too many tenants will create over-flow of cars in a driveway. Perhaps the parking issues and other conditions deemed "unsightly" are results of greater issues & available resources. While I personally believe in adhering to architectural cohesion in respect to urban development and historical references/conditions- (mouthful huh!) Sometimes, I think we all need to stop and realize the human condition is foremost-
there is a wider variety of socio-economic classes living within the Downtown District than many perceive, somehow this needs to fit into the equation as well.

Anonymous said...

There are certain drawbacks to living like the insects. Or to living surrounded by trees in isolated rural areas. I subscribe to the notion that wherever one lives, there is a some personal responsibility to improve the area. Just like at home where everyone contributes to the common good. The problem of slackers is not a new one and maybe the stocks deserve a comeback...

Anonymous said...

Someone put up a cross. I need to nail myself to it.

Madam Nirvana said...

I agree with no parking on the sidewalk, & trash.. I just would hope there would be an alternative to ticketing...i guess i'm just an idealist sometimes.
*sigh* will continue to try to contribute to common good despite.