Many simply refuse to recognize safety hazards to the point that they become willfully blind to them. Many roadside objects that harpoon or puncture wayward vehicles are ignored. They rest in place for many years because the probability that they will be struck is remote. Such has been the case of the railing that existed at the intersection of Quebec and Oxford Streets in London, Ontario.
The earliest view of the railing that we have on record comes from August, 2002, shown in the photo below.
Subsequent photos show that over the years the harpoon hazard has taken slightly different forms. The view below shows the railing in April of 2016.
A closer view shows that it was quite different in years past. For example the photo below was taken in November, 2016 and it shows how a previous anchorage had existed as demonstrated by the anchorage hole in the square concrete block. Also the horizontal bars now protrude much further out from the anchorage post. So somewhere between April and November of 2016 the railing changed characteristics, possibly because it was struck, destroyed and replaced again.
Sometime in January of 2019 the railing was struck and destroyed as shown in the photos below taken on January 26, 2019.
It was hoped that someone recognized that the safety situation had improved with the destruction of the railing. But no. Sometime later the railway was replaced. again. We see in the photo below, taken in March of 2019, that the railing has been re-installed, with the dangerous horizontal bars waiting to impale the next wayward vehicle.
An interesting thing happened when the railing was struck and repaired. Someone in the City of London recognized the harpooning hazard and placed caps at the ends of the horizontal bars, as shown below.
Then the railing was struck again in January, 2023, thus demolishing most of it as on previous occasions.
Shortly afterwards the railing was completely removed and replaced by portable concrete barriers as shown in the photos below.
The question remains: Will the dangerous harpoon-railing be re-installed? Or will the City of London finally understand that such a dangerous installation should not exist at the edge of any busy, arterial roadway.
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