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Original post made
on Apr 24, 2012
The timing of this outage was perfect: a warm Saturday night after dinner. We hung out with our neighbors, some of which we hadn't met before, roasted marshmallows and played music. If it weren't for some people depending on electricity for health reasons (monitoring devices, refrigerating medicine, etc) an outage per month would probably do us nothing but good.
Our neighborhood was not affected by the power outage. However, we chose to drive to dinner up Shoreline Blvd., unaware of the outage. It was pitch black with nary a police car or patrol officer in sight. People were running the smaller intersection's stoplights, and heaven forbid a drunk with no headlights chose to drive through the light from the other direction at the same time. On our return trip from dinner - lights still out and still no police presence directing traffic. We did, however, see one patrol officer writing a ticket. When we arrived home, thankfully safely, I called the non-emergency number and told them that I realized they knew that the lights were out, but that people were running them and it was extremely dangerous. Her response? "We have officers out there writing tickets, they don't do the directing of traffic". And it was done in a very snotty way. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! So, instead of preventing a potentially disastrous situation from occurring, they would rather just sit there and write tickets to people blasting through the intersections, some of whom may not be familiar with our city and not know that the lights are even there?! Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Mr. Omander, I think that having power outages every month would be a terrible idea unless our valiant MVPD would get out there and keep people safe, which I though was the whole idea behind having a police department. Silly me.
Warm nights follow hot days, when old transmission and distribution equipment is more prone to failure. I agree with Martin, it was an easy night for us to be in the dark. Since we drove home from a party in the dark, I was thinking about it (driving w/o lights and signals). Apparently too many citified folks around here, as the vehicle code is quite clear: Power is out at a signal, it is a four way stop. The MVPD eventually did direct traffic, but at a low volume hour, putting all officers on traffic control would just allow other issues to manifest.
Too bad the watch desk had probably had to answer the same calls many times that night, as I suspect that is why "frustrated" was dealt with rudely. The job of MVPD, except in large emercency should still be crime focused, not nanny focused. Being safe on the road is the motorist's responsibity, that is why they call it "defensive driving". Once they knew from PG&E how long the power would be out, I'm guessing that is how they decided to direct traffic.
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