Recently we have had some quite severe rain storms. I’m not a fan of rain but when you dress right and carry a large umbrella there is usually little harm in increased levels of water falling from the sky. At least you would have thought so.
Last week on my way to work one morning I was walking down a pavement made up of slabs when I took one step forward and was instantly sprayed with a large quantity of cold, muddy rainwater. What had happened was the paving slab in front of me was loose and set on uneven ground such that when it rained water collected underneath it, just waiting for someone (me) to step on it and release its nasty stored payload. No umbrella could have saved me. I ended up being stuck in wet clothes for pretty much the rest of the day.
What bugs me is how the council can get away with such shoddy paving practices. If maintaining a good pavement with slabs is too hard then surely they could just lay tarmac and have done with it? One thing is for sure the residents of Leeds don’t deserve to get soaked on a rainy day when they remembered to bring an umbrella.
On a similar note; poor curbside drainage. Leeds is a big city and thus has a fair few large buses. If the curbside isn’t water free at all times then the passing of one of these large vehicles will spray, no wait, SOAK, any poor unsuspecting pedestrian who happens to be walking by at the time. There is no need for this. Tarmac at the correct angles and an adequate number of unblocked storm drains permits only a mere film of rainwater to remain on the road, an amount even the largest and most badly driven Leeds bus cannot spray at pedestrians.
I for one am sick and tired of walking everywhere and looking after my health and the environment in the process only to have my efforts rewarded with a face full of water and a day in wet clothes. This is one of those things where a little would go a very long way. If you regularly walk places around town and have soaking experiences to share, feel free to post in comments.