I came home from work last Tuesday to find these lining both sides of my street.
The utility identified several neighborhoods in San Francisco with old, unstable PVC pipes connecting homes to their main delivery lines. These pipes are prone to cracking, raising the spectre of all sorts of unpleasant events, and must be replaced. This work has already started in my hood, as PG&E goes block by block doing the job. It involves sidewise drilling under the sidewalk and front yard to minimize the damage to the pathway and people’s front yards. A hole is dug in the street or sidewalk to make the connection to the main, and another excavation made for the house connection. PG&E will repair all the destroyed concrete. At some future point they will also repave the street but not until all the work in the immediate neighborhood is done.
Like many SF homes, my gas meter is in an alcove just inside the garage with a sight window in the wall so the meter reader can read the meter. That’s unnecessary since I allowed PG&E to install a Smart reader on the gas meter earlier this year. I’d already gotten one for the electric meter just before I installed solar panels. (I don’t worry about the radiation dangers. I’m surrounded by so many radio signals from transmitting devices the FCC might require me to issue warning notices to my neighbors.) But I am taking this opportunity to have PG&E move the meter to the outside of the house. If I do it while they are making this improvement, they will bear all the cost of the work. I will get a dangerous interface outside of my walls, and will reclaim a little space under the stairs. It also means my yard will be torn up a little more than it would be otherwise. Fortunately it is mostly dirt, and it will mean more replanting than re-paving.
A household four doors down from me has five cars. At any given time two are parked on the paved-over front yard and the rest on the street. The garage is not used for cars. It will be interesting logistical project when the work hits their house.