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Staten Island Residents Frustrated With New Utility Pole Placement

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the tale of two utility poles in the Gradmere neighborhood of Staten Island.

As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, an older, shorter pole at the edge of West Fingerboard Road has been replaced by a new pole not more than a foot away, but the replacement was put right in the center of the sidewalk.

The dueling poles have residents wondering, whose bright idea could this be?

“They should have planned this carefully and thought about it,” said resident Jon Specter.

“It’s very inconvenient that it’s in the middle of the street,” added resident Henry Dionisi.

The awkwardly placed pole, installed and owned by Con Edison, has residents two-stepping their way around it — either walking in the street or in the narrow space of remaining sidewalk, Carrasco reported.

Residents say the set up is not conducive to anyone.

“If you’re disabled, or you’re with a walker or a cane or you’re walking slow and you have to maneuver and you have to play acrobat to get around the pole, is not right,” Specter said.

“You have to move across the street because you have to cross there. So it’s a pain in the neck,” said resident Greis Polo.

Residents say not only is it a nuisance maneuvering around the two utility poles, they also say it can be dangerous.

“The cars come flying through here so it’s kind of risky,” Dionisi said.

A Con Edison spokesperson, however, said “The pole placement (was) done with the proper permits and will accommodate anticipated street widening.”

The spokesperson added that “The sidewalk will be moved between the pole and the property line.”

Con Edison said it is working with the Department of Transportation to install the new sidewalk between the pole and the property line. The property line will not be affected.

So far there is no timeline on when the sidewalk will be moved. Until then, there’s simply no way around the pole problem.

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