Vaulted Sidewalk

No Parking - Vaulted Sidewalk

I saw this No Parking sign outside my work and wondered what the kind of sidewalk had to do with whether you could park there. I discovered that a vaulted sidewalk is a sidewalk “built over basement space originally designed for delivery and storage of coal”*. Ah… so “don’t park here because the weight of your car might collapse the sidewalk down into the empty space underneath.” Noted. I’m surprised there isn’t just a symbol for that.

3 Comments so far

  1. Alana (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2005 @ 12:25 pm

    Hey Fuzzy- Interesting! In the links you sent about urban exploration, I found a whole section about people who crawl around in areas like this. Apparently there was a time when buildings were allowed to build out under the sidewalks to increase their usable space for storage and whatnot. Then the city got the idea that they should be charged for using the area, so most building owners simply walled those spaces off, creating these vaults.

  2. steven (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2005 @ 12:39 pm

    So shouldn’t the city have thought a bit and had these vaults filled in? I can see it now…a city vehicle, maybe one involved in the many scandals that have popped up recently, uses this spot to park their vehicle, ignoring the signs, and tada! instant sinkhole. God forbid there be any of the aforementioned vault dwellers inside. Just a huge mess, waiting to happen.

    Don’t get me wrong, searching thru these vaults would be extremely interesting…I just wouldn’t want to be inside when a whatever-ton truck falls on my head.

  3. Fuzzy (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2005 @ 1:00 pm

    And indeed, most of the net references to ‘vaulted sidewalks’ that I found were from budget plans and so forth from communities around the country planning vaulted sidewalk replacements. But a No Parking sign is much cheaper than construction costs.

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