Archive for May 16th, 2009

Have a Nice Trip. See You Next Fall.

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

images11


I am becoming an expert on the vulgarities of the sidewalks of Rochester within a radius of about a mile from the center of the city. I walk on them pretty often – and trip and fall on them far too many times. Last week I fell twice in a stretch of irregular sidewalk about 20-yards long, TWICE – IN 12-HOURS (!) within sight of the building in which I work. Onlookers were shocked!


Falling isn’t nice – remember? The awkward clip of the trip, then the concrete rushing at supersonic speeds towards your face, then the thudding crash (pause for a split second) then … PAIN! The shooting joint rips, the scraped hands, knees, and elbow skin tears, bruises – then the quick jump to your feet and the MANDATORY downward look of revulsion at the evil piece of concrete which chose YOU (out of all the other idiot pedestrians walking that day) to make stumble and look like a spastic imbecile.


Almost all sidewalks in Northeastern US cities are potential land ‘on-your-ass’ mines. The reason is simple: the changing seasons. When rain and snow freeze under and between sidewalk slabs in winter, the ice expands and cracks or makes uneven the concrete. When spring rolls around, the ice melts and sidewalks look like miles of crooked, broken teeth.


Shouldn’t the city fix the sidewalks and even them out? Well of course they should. Just as soon as they fix all the potholes and clear all the fallen, soaked leaves and trash from the streets – which will be about the twelfth of Never.


A few years ago, New York City came up with a genius solution because they have more sidewalk problems than any other city which resulted in injury lawsuits costing city taxpayers over $50-million a year. They simply passed a law saying it wasn’t their problem anymore. Property owners are now required to carry liability insurance for personal injury and property damage in sidewalk accidents.


And what happens if you fall on a sidewalk in front of say a city park? Officially: not the city’s problem. Unofficially: you’d better crawl your sorry, broken ass to a sidewalk in front of private property before you begin hollering and threatening to sue. I heart New York!

####