Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cleaning Up

This Google Maps shot was taken before the slide.

The Telegraph Hill landslide continues to garner local headlines. Early this morning work crews began to clear the debris and shore up the hillside. Although the slide seems like old news, it is remarkable that corrective action started within a week of the occurrence. If this were public land, we’d be dithering through the summer.

With rain in this week’s forecast, six property owners realized that immediate action was required.

"With another front of wet weather that looks to be headed our way by Tuesday, we need to make sure that we address this weak area of the hillside as soon and as fast as we can," [San Francisco Department of Building Inspection spokesman William] Strawn said.

More wet weather or another earthquake similar to the temblor that shook the East Bay Thursday could cause the hillside to further collapse, according to Strawn.
Of course, our capitalistic system has its drawbacks. Although the recalcitrant seventh property owner may have sincere motives, it is easy to suspect that he is the classic free-rider.

Dennis Chang, the owner of a three-unit apartment building at 1041 Montgomery St., was the only property owner who refused to sign the agreement, citing potential liability issues, Strawn said. Because Chang did not sign Friday evening's agreement, crews will likely need to use a crane that will tower over Chang's property this weekend to access the hillside, Strawn said.
Mr. Chang is the only property owner who is named in news reports. Public shaming is an effective instrument only if the affected party cares. © 2007 Stephen Yuen

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