What is wrong with this picture?

A CBC radio report from Montreal reported as follows: A cyclist had encountered an overturned  sewer plate in the middle of the bicycle path, which was a danger to bicycle traffic. He had called the city to have them do something about it, on several occasions. The City had done nothing for months. He was so frustrated, he had contemplated bringing a crowbar and overturning the upside down plate, setting it right-side up and removing the obstruction, but, he  said, he had refrained from this drastic step, and this with no small pride on his admirable restraint .

Why? I ask. Why not assume responsibility for the situation and right it? If the obstruction is bothering you for months, and it lies within your power to fix it, why not fix it? This guy has been swerving around it for months. He has received no response from the responsible authorities. Just assume control and do something? It was the tone of pride with which he said he had refrained from fixing the problem that impelled this blog posting. A true servant of the welfare state had just spoken.