Montrose residents worried about ongoing issues with CenterPoint utility poles blocking sidewalks

Lileana Pearson Image
Friday, November 17, 2023
CenterPoint places utility poles in Montrose to improve electric system dependability, prompting an ADA accessibility concern
Aside from the poles impeding pedestrians' access to a safe sidewalk, there have been complaints about the utility poles on Dunlavy Street failing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Massive power poles are taking up entire sidewalks in Montrose.

ABC13 was the first to question whether the CenterPoint utility poles were creating ADA accessibility issues. Now, a notice that appears to be from the city's engineering department is posted on the pole - with the same concerns saying there isn't room to build a handicap ramp.

For months, people have been swerving around and squeezing by enormous CenterPoint power poles along Dunlavy Street in Montrose.

"We have to walk around the cell towers. We used to be able to walk down that sidewalk, but we have to walk in the street," Montrose resident Bill Alford said.

ABC13 first reported on the accessibility concerns on a rainy Oct. 6 morning, where many residents were worried.

"It shouldn't be this hard to navigate as a pedestrian around here," Alex Tanton, who was forced into the street as he held his young daughter, said.

At the time, CenterPoint said they had the necessary permits to build and would reroute the sidewalk. However, on Oct. 26, a notice claiming to be from the city's engineering department read the pole is preventing the city from building a handicap ramp.

When ABC13 first reported this story, an Eyewitness News crew ran into Marvin Krasner, whose wife uses a walker. At the time, he said the power pole impeded accessibility for someone who uses a mobility device.

RELATED: CenterPoint Energy utility poles impacting sidewalk safety and accessibility in Montrose

"I think it would be a challenge. I mean, obviously, she would have to adjust her walker to be able to maneuver thorough that," Krasner said.

ABC13 ran back into Krasner and his wife again on Thursday.

"I'm not surprised. They've been working on this for months now, and it's not changed, so I presume that's how it's going to stay," Krasner said.

SEE ALSO: 'It's ruining the neighborhood': Massive utility pole draws attention to new home, owners tell ABC13

In fact, ABC13 reached out to CenterPoint about the notice and ongoing concerns in which the utility company released the following statement.

"CenterPoint Energy worked with the city on permitting of the asphalt around the pole as a temporary solution to the impacted sidewalk. Conversations between CenterPoint Energy and the city continue to jointly identify the final remediation."

ABC13 also reached out to the city's engineering department and public works to find out if CenterPoint had the correct permits in the first place. Public works did tell Eyewitness News that they are working to get someone from the engineering department, but there are still no answers.

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