Pedestrians take note: a single barricade (or no barricade at all) may be the only thing between you and a plunge down this sidewalk abyss.
On November 18, at approximately 9:30 pm, pedestrians walked wearily around a hole in the sidewalk near the Millennium Library on the west side of Donald Street between Graham and St.Mary Avenues.
Without a cover on top of the hole, the area is unsafe for pedestrians, particularly for anyone who is blind or for small children. Even though there is a single barricade across the middle of the hole, there is potential for someone to fall into this abyss and to hurt themselves.
This area is busy at night, especially on the evenings when there is a Jets hockey game at the MTS Centre.
Upon calling 311, it was explained that the construction barrier over this hole was at a wiring junction where the traffic lights had stopped working earlier in the afternoon. The city is in the process of redoing the wiring in the area around the MTS Centre.
During the daytime, city workers had a truck with a bucket, two pylons and a barricade while they were fixing the lights, yet the hole was left open without any barricades covering it.
The 311 operator said that someone called earlier in the day about the open hole. The city’s sewer department was called by the department that fixed the traffic lights, which prompted the sewer department to put up the barricade, yet still leaving the hole uncovered.
When the 311 operator was asked if the hole could be covered, the official said there was a barricade and anyone would see that.
In response to the question if there was any risk to anyone who is blind or to a child falling into the hole, the 311 operator then contacted the Emergency Services crew, which forwarded a request to the sewer department to put a cover on the hole. The sewer department replied that they could not find the correct-sized cover to place over the hole and that they did not have enough staff for the evening crew to fix the hole; they were waiting for the morning crew to find an appropriate cover that would fit.