I am grateful I was not too thoroughly immersed in my phone when I encountered this on the sidewalk in Baltimore near the intersection of Eastern Ave and S Chester St @1030EDT on 2016-07-08.
I stopped and spoke with a member of the BGE crew and suggested that this was probably not an adequate setup in a 2016 world where distracted walking is the norm. He politely thanked me for my input and said they did not have enough gear to do any better. I suggested that they reallocate one of the several cones they had placed in other locations of much less obvious utility. He seemed disinterested and when I looked back two blocks later it was clear they were not going to improve the situation. The fact that this was not merely an oversight but rather an intentional act of disregard for safety makes it especially troubling.
What I would really love to know is… If someone fell down this shaft, how long might it be before someone even realized?
Edit @1130EDT: This has become Baltimore City 311 issue #16-00496948.