Bill Callahan points out a sighting earlier this month of a big treelawn box near our Carnegie library, at Pearl and Mapledale. It's frustrating to spend years promoting good, sensible design and city planning, only to have a public utility owned by stockholders trump the rights of property owners in an urban community. This lowers all property values, as does the proliferation of utility poles nearly 100 years after we adopted sensible community guidelines for handling our common feeds. Read Bill's whole post. Here's my comment:
Bandwidth is good. Design from AT&T is obsolete and the cheapest possible installation. Security is lousy. These things should be placed below grade; visually, they're nasty; they're also vulnerable to sabotage, vandalism, bad weather, and plain old acts of God.
I believe Newton D. Baker's administration wrote the definitive code on how to place utilities, yet we continue to ignore what would be in the best interests of the community in the long term.
Above-ground utilities on thoroughfares have no place in a well designed city, and good design starts now, with the current projects under way.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, is reeling under the insult to its streetscape; we need to fix ours now.