ONTD Political

Shades Of Mauve
skellington1 15th-Jan-2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
Sidewalks in New York City collapse often enough that it's a common fear? And there isn't huge outrage over the giant public safety issue? Having that happen would be terrifying -- it's the kind of thing we (almost all of us, I think; fear of falling is one of the innate ones) have nightmares about.

Most codes require building to greater stress tolerances than the construction is expected to ever actually see (to give you some safety wiggle room; to allow for things falling from great height, or natural disasters, etc). I'd think a section of NYC sidewalk should be reasonably expected to hold up not just a crowd of people, but all the various supplies common to doing business. Remodeling the restaurant? A pallet of concrete weighs over 3000 pounds, and no one would look twice at a worker using a jack to move a pallet of concrete over a sidewalk. 400-800 pound motorcycles are often parked on sidewalks (not nes. in NYC; but commonly enough I'd say it's an 'expected load' for the sidewalk). 300 pounds is just not that much when we're talking about structural weight bearing.

Hell, back in high school drama I used to build 8x4 platforms that held four or five people -- that's 500-425 pounds even if you figure they were all pretty scrawny.

(I know that the awful treatment of Williams is really the subject, here -- but it's easier to wrap my mind around the engineering angle. I can't quite cope with thinking about people being awful head-on at the moment.)
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