I am planning on turning my backyard into a parking pad as parking in the city
has become really difficult. The problem is there is a guy wire that is blocking
access to my yard. How do I get rid of it. The electrical company came for
inspection and said that it is not their. It is either owned by Verizon or
Comcast. Called these two companies but have no idea where to point me to. What
should I do?
On Sun, 28 Apr 2013 18:51:59 -0700 (PDT), " email@example.com"
I thought of the same thing, but the easement may just say that it's a
utility easement, rather than name the utility. They do share each
other's poles and it's hard to guess (they're usually marked, IME)
which utility owns the pole. You're right, though, there may be no
way to force them to do anything. OTOH, they might not want to make
What you should have done is simply cut / remove the guy wire yourself.
Removal of wire is not unusual in the US these days - it's called urban
mining. Nobody could attribute it to you if you do it right.
But because you've already made a lot of noise by contacting everyone,
if you remove it yourself then someone will remember that you wanted it
gone and you're in trouble.
So you screwed yourself.
They won't remove it no matter how much you bug them because some
engineer at some point obviously wanted that guy wire there, and they
won't take it down now because it's an insurance / liability issue for
them if they do any work that can weaken or make their poles less
secure. Liability insurance governs all aspects of life in the US
If whoever you spoke to at Verizon and Comcast couldn't help you, call back
and ask again. If that person can't help, escalate the call to a
supervisor. It took me a couple of calls to get the details of a pole
replacement project in my neighborhood, but I eventually got all the
details, including who owned the poles, what order the work of the three
companies would be done in and when I could expect the empty poles to be
Once you get to the right people, they should be more than willing to help
you out, at least as far as the details of the guy wire placement.
You may even find that they might be willing to move the guy wire. I
happened to be home when they dropped the new pole and they actually
dropped it about 5 feet from where they were going to when I nicely told
them that it was hard for me to open my car door if I parked next to it.
The pole should have markings to tell you who owns it. About 6-10 feet from
Typically it would be (in descending order)
1) The power company
2) The original phone company
3) Rarely some new cable company.
If you have a state level public utility oversight agency, they would also
He might try calling the local police. Poles get knocked over
by cars all the time so they must have some contact numbers that
they call to say, "This pole has been damaged...."
Or find a Verizon or Comcast truck that is doing work in the
area and ask them. If they come out to fix somebody's service
and find a damaged poll, they must know who to call.
If your easement is for vehicles to pass, sounds like this guy wire
violates that easement and is therefore illegally placed.
Not sure I envision what's there, but sounds like trying to drive
under the triangle made by a tent wire. Should be possible to replace
with a 'dogleg' guy wire. I've see these configurations in tight
locations where a vehicle has to have clearance between the pole and
the wire's ground attachment. The idea is that the wire comes down at
similar angle to what is there now but instead of tied to ground is
tied to top of a short pole, essentially moving everything a bit up in
the air to provide clearance for a vehicle to go under everything
right next to the pole.
He isn't clear but I think the pole is not on his property but in the
alley and the wire prevents vehicle access to his yard.
For someone who wanted help, he doesn't seem to want to answer any of
1. You don't talk to the customer service staff that answers the phone, you
go for the construction or engineering department.
2. They get requests all the time to move poles and guy wires when
construction projects are started, but it is normal for the requester to pay
for the change.
3. Most cities charge a tax on each pole, unless they own it, they should be
able to identify the owner, who they tax.
4. If you check with your local city/town you may find that you need a
permit for the parking pad, also for access to the street/laneway, without a
permit the pole owner may not want to make any changes.
5. The pole can be moved or the guy wire reconfigured to allow access if you
can convince or pay them to do it.
There is one other thing to check. From personal experience, there are
times when the guy wire goes off of the easement. You might be able to
convince them to move it since it is technically not there legally.
America is at that awkward stage. It's too late
to work within the system, but too early to shoot
When I had a Comcast cable break as I was driving under it - and it
damaged some property on top of the vehicle - I spent awhile trying to
get in touch with somebody from Comcast before I gave up and just filed
a small claims court action against them.
That worked like magic and they were perfectly reasonable. Never had
to go to court or anything - but the claim went into their system and
navigated itself to the right decision maker and it was downhill from
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