Addition by Subtraction

November 15, 2012

I love bridges, parks, and architectural lighting. They make our world a more beautiful place if done right. But of all the city planning changes I can imagine, the one I’d recommend for most of Rhode Island is removing the utility poles that litter our downtown streets. Not only are they ugly but they are a major factor in power outages during hurricanes (should still be fresh on our minds) and blizzards (coming soon). The before and after photos above are from Marblehead, Massachusetts and the difference is striking. There are over 100 million utility poles in the United States, and removing them is one use for my tax dollars for which I actually approve (and that’s a rare thing indeed).

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3 Responses to “Addition by Subtraction”

  1. Clair said

    I LOVE urban planning stuff. If I had to pick a second career, that would be it. So I love this post.

    I am amazed by these photos and feel like I should be petitioning for this! It is almost as smart as having heating installed in the floors of houses (so smart).

  2. Sami Sioux said

    Great! I would love to be rid of the wires… but how do those towns now transmit services like cable, internet, landline phones, etc?

  3. tonykulla said

    Clair, I’m tempted to find a nice New England main street around here and then photoshop (nice how that’s become a verb) out all the utility poles and start a campaign in that town. Oh, and someday I’m going to try SimCity – amazingly I’ve never played it. Have you?

    Sam – everything goes underground and is therefore protected from the weather so outages are much less common. The biggest obstacle to doing this is cost, of course. It’s not cheap.

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