Displaced Personhole

Man covers Personhole
Blog 019 - 13 July 2012

Replaced Personhole

Having recovered from my first, and hopefully also the last bout of this winter's cold/flu attacks, I am back on my bike. I started with a loop that took me along Non Such Road through Queen Elizabeth Park and then along Peter Brown and Link Roads, to Old Howick Road. From there it was down Old Howick to Hyslop Road, and then back home by climbing Town Bush Road (TBR). As this climb took place in the late afternoon, I rode on the pavement in order to avoid the PMB rush hour traffic. In doing so, I typically yield to pedestrians descending TBR. As I am intruding on the pavement, I invariably initiate an exchange of greetings and salutations, and I am always impressed with the pleasantness of the folk I encounter.

The pavement is in a reasonable condition and exists for for amost two thirds of the climb to what is obstensibly, the top of TBR. Given the pedestrian traffic using that latter third of TBR in the late afternoon, the pavement really should run all the way. If it did, it would certainly help to protect pedestrians (potential taxi commuters) descending this section of TBR. Of course it would also help these commuters, if they were guaranteed that a taxi would call at least on the hour, every hour, during the working day. I believe that Taxi Associations should be obliged to provide this level of service, in all such situations, along the routes that they control. Currently this situation is aggravated during the latter part of Friday afternoons, when the taxis abandon TBR beyond Cascades, for more lucrative routes.

Having got that pavement plug out of the way, I return to the personhole. This particlar personhole covers a road side storm water drain. It is located pretty much where the PMB Traffic Police very occasionally position themselves under the large gum trees, just before the entrance to Grey's Hospital. As can be seen in the photograph at the top left, the personhole cover has slipped off the personhole. It has been like this for some time. I can recall noticing it whilst riding past during my preparations for the Cape Argus Cycling Tour, which was held in February. The last time I passed it on my bike, I stopped and repositioned it, as can be seen from the photograph at the top right.

If you are wondering why the personhole cover consists of a steel frame surrounding a concrete slab, it is probably because cast iron personhole covers, and most other easily removable metal items within public areas, have been targeted by metal thieves. The same is true for not so easily removed metal in public places such a copper telephone cables. This problem is covered more extensively in my PICPMB Blog 14, Telkom Copper Cable Theft

Unfortunately when pointing out my good work to my wife whilst driving past the personhiole the following day, I noticed that it had already started to slip from its position. That is happening because the personhole base /surround has been damaged, probably by a heavy vehicleor dare I say it, a fully-laden Taxi, when it mounted the pavement. Unfortunately this is not the only damaged personhole in the immediate vicinity. If construction is taking place, such destruction of personholes is almost guaranteed. They invariably remain as such, like badges awared to honour the development that has taken place.

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