It’s about 4:30 in the afternoon. The van in the distance on the right parked two minutes ago. Never have I seen so few cars on the street. It is Day Two of PG&E’s gas line replacement project. The work crew is parking steel plates over holes they’ve excavated at the opposite cross street, and they have staged a lot of equipment on my block, including a hill of asphalt. Through all the inconvenience, I hope more good comes out of it in the form of repaving streets in the neighborhood.
This replacement project was born from the religion Pacific Gas and Electric got when one of their main natural gas transmission lines ruptured in San Bruno, California. The resulting explosion and fire took the lives of eight people, destroyed 38 houses and ruined the life of a neighborhood. It also shredded any credibility the utility had as far as assessing the condition of their gas delivery system. So when a check of their records showed a type of brittle plastic pipe, prone to cracking, was used in a mid-70’s replacement project in my neighborhood, they developed a program to replace them again. Immediately. And so the hobbyhorses went up the day after Christmas, announcing no parking on the street from 7:00 Am to 5:00 PM every day except Sunday, for 30 days. PG&E will replace the lines from the street to the meters in the homes. Upon request they will move the meter from inside the home and place it outside. I have made that request.