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Public nuisance

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    I have mentioned before that once public areas are converted to carfree, there are other public nuisances that, in an auto-centric society, go ignored for
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6, 2008
      I have mentioned before that once public areas are converted to
      carfree, there are "other" public nuisances that, in an auto-centric
      society, go ignored for obvious reasons. A barn of 12 air-conditioning
      compressors right outside a 3-story apartment building seem like no
      big deal when there's a nearby 4-lane road, but take away that road
      noise, and you're suddenly dealing with something that's making quite
      the racket. This is a pretty simple one: put the compressors on the
      roof, or better yet, make chilled water a public utility, just like
      water, sewer, and natural gas are today.

      Just having stepped outside my office into the cool night air, I was
      reminded of another one that probably makes my blood pressure rise
      even more than public works departments and police parking on
      sidewalks: irrigation sprinklers. Public ROW sprinklers should be
      eliminated, and private sprinklers should be heavily fined for letting
      any water touch public ROW. My observations about these systems:

      - They tend to be poorly installed. I've seen sprinkler heads that,
      due to being installed at a bad angle, are drenching a single spot
      instead of throwing up a proper spray. Or maybe they've been stepped
      on and twisted out of alignment. In many cases, this is done
      intentionally by passersby who are sick of it.

      - Along those lines, they tend to water more pavement than grass. I
      haven't taken Biology since high school, but I don't think pavement
      needs water.

      - No matter when you time them, it's always a bad time. I have to go
      through a water gauntlet when I get off work at 0100--never mind that
      my office building is active 24*7. A public park downtown here runs
      sprinklers during morning and afternoon rush hours--probably because
      the parks go virtually empty on weekdays and they can get away with
      it. FSU has sprinklers, making some roads and green space unusable for
      a few hours each night--especially ironic considering the 24-hour
      nature of college students. I never even lived on campus, and I was on
      campus as early as 0630 and as late as 0400.

      Plus, if I'm not mistaken, perforated drip pipes are more effective
      anyway--is there a green thumb out there who can verify this? I know
      that I water my house plants at the base, not by just holding the hose
      over the entire plant.

      Unfortunately, there's very little financial incentive to do
      irrigation right. Water costs about $1.40/1000 gallons here, which
      probably makes the "dump water on everything" method cheaper than
      having the groundskeeper do it correctly. I used to work at a high
      school where the building supervisor used portable sprinklers when the
      green space wasn't in use, and made great efforts to keep water off
      the pavement.

      Florida's fine for disabled parking/blocking violations is $250. Let's
      make that apply to any actions that result in making public ROW unusable.
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