Saturday, November 5, 2011
Development loophole allowed cart tragedy
From the Daily News:
Two boys who nearly killed an upper West Side woman in a crazed shopping cart stunt would have found the act almost impossible without a dangerous loophole in city building regulations.
Marion Hedges, a mother of two, was critically injured Sunday when a pair of 12-year-olds hurled the cart from a walkway — four stories above a busy pedestrian plaza, police said. Despite the urging of another boy to stop, they lifted the shopping cart above a railing that was a mere 42 inches high.
The pedestrian walkway at East River Plaza was erected by a private developer, but if it had been owned by the city, builders would have been required to construct an 8-foot high fence over the wall, city officials said.
Because the walkway was private, the owner, Blumenfeld Development Group, followed the Buildings Department’s 42-inch height requirement — not the Transportation Department’s 8-foot standard.