Help, My Street is Broken!

Photo: Abrahan Garza

This is the scene today on the 1600 block of Milam. It's a broken drain. Trouble is the drain, with its grate topper, was put right under the path of the tires of a normal car or bus. All day long, every day, cars, trucks and buses barrel over the grate, eventually breaking its supports. On most days this means there's a constant clang-clang as each vehicle passes over it. Today, there's no clanging, just a gaping hole.

Photo: Abrahan Garza

Sure, there are two orange cones warning drivers at the beginning of the break, but nothing to stop drivers from changing lanes back into the problem area once they pass the cones. The gap looks just wide enough for a tire to get stuck in. Won't that be a lovely surprise - zipping along and then, clack, your tire falls into a drainage ditch and you're stuck.

Over on the 1600 block of Louisiana, the drain is in the middle of the lanes; tires on the normal car or bus pass on each side of it rather than right over it. They have no clanging, no periodic gaping holes.

Sure, the city will come out and "fix" the grate covers (we use that term loosely) on Milam and for a while it will just be that noise-ordinance busting clanging all day. Then the supports will give way and we're back to gaping holes.

Can anyone say "vicious cycle?" - Olivia Flores Alvarez

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