Good Samaritan Builds Staircase In Park For $550 After City Estimates $65,000

This is one example of bureaucracy slowing progress rather than fueling it.

Quite often, bureaucracy impedes progress rather than propels it. This was recently made evident after a retired mechanic took it upon himself to construct a $550 staircase on a dangerous local park trail which the city council estimated would cost $65,000.

The park, located in Etobicoke, Ontario, became the subject of discussion after two locals were injured on the rocky Tom Riley Park path. Local citizens contacted the city for a price estimate on the staircase. The eight-step staircase was estimated to cost anywhere from $65,000 to $150,000, which is obviously out of reach for most.

Dismayed as well as frustrated by the proposal, Adi Astl got to work planning then constructing the staircase. A few neighbors chipped in to help finance the stairs, and Astl hired a homeless man to assist with the project. Within only a matter of hours, the eight-step staircase was completed. And the total cost? A mere $550.

Because protocol was not followed, the initiative has resulted in controversy among city representatives. Some have stated that the structure has “no foundation,” and that the “incline is uneven.” However, most community members have thanked the good samaritan for his work as the staircase which has made the pass substantially less dangerous.

Mayor John Tory, on the other hand, says citizens do not have the right to modify public spaces simply because they do not like the way things are. He admitted the city’s estimate was too high but says the park already has a more accessible path further past the staircase. There has been a conversation of tearing down the recently-constructed staircase. Some city council members, however, are pushing to improve upon Astl’s installation, which will require significantly less money and ensure his contribution is recognized.

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