It’s the “San Diego Crumbling Infrastructure Contest”

by on August 23, 2011 · 17 comments

in Economy, Labor, Popular, San Diego

Hey boys and girls! The OB Rag is having a contest! Yea!

It’s the “San Diego Crumbling Infrastructure Contest” – all you have to do is find and locate some good examples of crumbling San Diego infrastructure, take a photo of it (or more), and send us the photo(s) and its location. And … depending on the response … we will review the entries and declare a winner and a runner-up by next week at this time.

They both win OB Rag T-shirts! Yea!

This is not exactly the annual “Orchids and Onions” contest, but it’s similar.  We wish to find local roadways, bridges, dams, and other public structures that are in need of repairs, replacements, and/ or removal.  Once we find them, we want to show them to local politicians.  And convince them they need to help create jobs to deal with all of it.

The OB Rag is joining with our local MoveOn organization in highlighting San Diego County infrastructure that needs fixing … and the jobs needed to do the fixing.  This is also part of our efforts to change the narrative of public discussion in this town … and this nation. We’re not interested in “pension reform” but in infrastructure and jobs, and in repairing our democracy.

Here are the rules:

  1. Find / locate some example of crumbing infrastructure that needs fixing;
  2. Take photos of your example;
  3. Send us at the OB Rag your photos and location – you can send them all to our confidential email:
  4. Wait for the decisions of the judges
  5. Pick out the T-shirt you want from our selections, if you are chosen.

All entries will receive a decal or bumper sticker from us.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

john August 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I got dibs on the sorry state of the pavement on Ebers St, a well travelled alternative for commuters avoiding Sunset Cliffs, and the nonexistent bathrooms on north OB by dog beach. Just gotta snap a few pics this afternoon.
Note the City has been claiming they’d balance our budget in 3 years (see my comments arguing in the alcohol ban/ crime stats article recently) but that with an astronomical “maintenance deferrment” figure estimated to reach $800 million by the end of those 3 years.
I’m off on my bicycle to Ebers st, send the search party if you don’t have that photo by the end of the day- I may have fallen into one of those cracks in the street.


Patty Jones August 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Careful John!


Frank Gormlie August 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for your enthusiasm John.


john August 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Okay got some decent pictures of Ebers, I’m going to leave them at full size so you can crop as necessary and yahoo’s email program will zip them automatically I believe. They are yours to do as you wish with.
Getting off and walking in the street reveals the cracks were bigger than I thought or got worse, and there is a big hole in the middle of Ebers and Brighton where an iron pipe ends at the surface uncapped. I child could break an ankle in that as it’s about 5″ deep.
What makes this so dangerous is:
Many of these cracks run parallel with the direction of travel, and are just a bit larger than a bicycle tire-a very dangerous situation.
They appear randomly so you can’t just stay a bit to the right or left and be safe-
The cracks left by repiping, distinct from other cracks, lie right in the area bicycles must be in to avoid “the door zone”.
Many bicycles take to using Ebers for a N/S throughway as Cable has been under construction and Sunset Cliffs has no room for bicycles-
Ebers is a heavily travelled alternate for commuters dodging backups on Sunset Cliffs-
The worst of it just south of Brighton is only a block from the OB recreation center, leaving the danger to be commonly faced by children travelling to the rec center.
Interesting as I was only out there for 5 minutes with my camera a guy on a skateboard and another on a bike hollered at me “I hate this! When are they going to fix it?”.


Sheep's clothing August 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Good Luck!


thinking out loud August 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Holy crap i have plenty of photos of that…


Frank Gormlie August 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Send them in, win a T-shirt.


JEC August 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Great idea – yet the most serious infrastructure failures lay under the streets.


Mary Sweeney August 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

How ’bout word pictures describing locations or problems or articles describing underground infrastructure failures, like sewers, etc.?


Patty Jones August 24, 2011 at 7:10 am

That works too. Welcome to the Ob Rag, Mary!


danny morales August 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm

How do you picture the crumbling democratic infrastructure? Can you spell OB Rag? Give yourself an award for all the work you’ve done over these past editions in showing how our families, our community and yes even our country is being turned over to that dictatorship of capital otherwise known as ‘the free market’-8>p


Frank Gormlie August 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

You are missed, Dan Morales.


Mary Sweeney August 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

And schools that need clean-up, maintenance, repairs and expansion! Don’t forget the schools!


editordude August 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm

John, Congratulations, dude! You have won our “San Diego Crumbling Infrastructure” Contest. Please send us your mailing address and your T-shirt size to our email address: .

We will be continuing the contest in the upcoming days.


john September 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Hey, got the shirt, thanks again.
Still I think you may not have had enough examples for a stand alone article, I have another worthy example, if you want I would be happy to shoot a few more pictures and provide some explanatory background. (as both my examples are strongly affecting bicycling safety perhaps a tie in?)
The other example would be the pedestrian/bike pathway on the channel of the river ending in dog beach. Specifically a hundred yards or so behind the Ebb Tide/Ocean Villa. There are numerous badly filled potholes and even a few areas where the edge is crumbling away, when cyclists and joggers/pedestrians pass it’s a jaw clenching experience, and since the channel side is a 12-15 feet plunge onto jagged boulders, the price for a miscue could be tragic- both for the victim AND the city who could be liable in a lawsuit. Maybe the worst is they have a narrow passage between some steel posts placed to block cars, two rows but the outside paths have started to crumble. The other day I came up to it with NObody to avoid and having to take the middle section still had my heart pounding, and I am not a fearful rider.
Let me know if you want some relevant photos, I’ll check back.


Frank Gormlie September 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Very true, John, I know those very potholes. We still could do a collection of spots, with these in mind, so sure, send them in.


Mary Sweeney September 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

This is a link to a History Channel special on America’s crumbling infrastructure.


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