This is not why anybody got into politics, and it’s certainly not the type of thing I’m proud to be spending my time asking candidates for statewide office about.
But unfortunately, making housing developers hide ugly gas meters inside of buildings is something only the state Public Utility Commission can do apparently, and the Governor appoints the PUC members, so we have to ask the Governor candidates where they stand on this critical issue for Pennsylvania.
Joking aside, these things are ugly, and ugliness depresses property values. That’s a problem for city and state tax base, and there are also good safety arguments against having these things on the outside of buildings. If the gas man (or some jerk teenagers) shut your neighbor’s gas off, your pipes could freeze.
And returning to the ugliness issue, my This Old City co-blogger Geoff Thompson counted 54 exposed gas meters within a 1-block radius of his house. It all adds up to a lot of ugly that’s really not necessary. (All for lower home prices of course, but let’s try to achieve that with a general apartment supply glut, not gross visual clutter.)
So, sorry again for trying to make this a statewide issue. It really shouldn’t be, but it is. And we need a commitment from the Governor candidates that they’ll pick PUC members who want to make developers put the utility meters back inside of buildings.