The city water department and its contractor, Burtech, are responsible for the temporary yellow pipeline running along both sides of University Avenue in North Park. It’s been like that for many months.
Normally, it’s not a big problem except for occasional leakage, including a gusher sometime back. But there was another problem, which could result in MTS passenger injury. At the northeast corner of University Avenue and Louisiana Street (in front of Colima's Mexican Restaurant), there's a busy MTS stop for the 7 and 10 buses. The temporary pipe was sticking up above the ground level at the boarding location.
Several Route 7 and 10 MTS drivers had learned not to stop right at that spot because it's a dangerous trip hazard, and the ramp cannot be lowered properly there. They stopped a short distance back. I’ve talked to drivers and passengers at that location including a passenger named “George” on July 25, and they are upset by this situation.
I haven’t heard of anyone falling down, but I did watch an MTS driver lower the disabled ramp a while back, and the ramp was unable to drop to ground level as required for safety. It landed right on top of the pipe, and the passenger wasn’t able to use the ramp.
I contacted Burtech and asked why that hasn’t been fixed, but received no response. I also contacted customer service at the city, asking why the water department has not addressed this hazard for bus customers. Their response was to ask me who the contractor is (which I didn’t know at that time). I responded that the water department would have that information, not me.
I contacted MTS to learn if bus drivers had reported the problem, so that management could report it on to the appropriate city department. Communications director Rob Schupp responded on July 26.
“We work very closely with the city (as you might imagine) on many issues related to street infrastructure. Usually, these types of access issues will be noticed or reported to a supervisor, who will elevate it to management, which then coordinates with the city. Not sure if this one ever was reported internally, but we made a quick call to the city yesterday and it was fixed this morning.”