By Jay Lancaster
Double-poles were front and center at the City Council meeting Tuesday night, as councilors took on the issue of how to cut down their numbers around the city. Representatives for Comcast and Verizon each received verbal lashings from the City Council, as members complained about delays on the part of the companies to address the issue.
A double-pole occurs when a telephone pole is damaged enough to warrant a replacement and a new one is installed next to it to replace it. Until the old pole is removed, the two poles stand next to one another, often held together by wooden planks. These double-poles can pose a safety hazard though, as well as being considered unsightly by most people. The older half of a double-pole has the potential to fall over and hurt bystanders, as well as damage nearby property.
On the issue of these double-poles, Ward 2 Councilor Bill Trahant had much to say. “They just keep growing, [Verizon and Comcast] aren’t really catching up with them and we’re getting a lot of calls from our constituents. It’s kind of an eye sore too. People have nice homes they just bought and they got a double pole in front of their house.”
On how the problem might best be addressed, he added that “There’s a lot of steps to it but it needs to get more organized. You heard me ask Verizon tonight why they really don’t have a full-time person that’s checking this database and that needs to be changed. They seem to be slowing us down, in my opinion. And listening to them tonight, Verizon seems to be the party that’s clearly lagging the service that we do. And I understand that they’re coming in and supplying new poles for new developments and they’re busy doing that, but they also need to think about hiring some more people. If they’re losing the war getting these poles up I’d like to see them start a second team or another division.”