|Re: emergency vehicle access||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 20:33:07 -0500|
("Digest" mode folks - remember to give your post a content-oriented title, so it can be archived !) Just as there is a Universal (or is it Uniform?) Building Code, there is also a UFC - a standard Fire Code. Your local fire station will have a copy for sure. This specifies the bottom line needs -- truck must be able to get within X feet of the farthest corner of a building, trucks can go X feet down a street branch and back out, but if the branch is longer than that they need to be able to turn around. This needn't be a circle (which is good news because it takes a very big circle). Other options are things like a "hammerhead T" , sort of a T or Y shaped road end that allows 3 point turns -- and the exact angles, lengths etc are spelled out. We were able to avoid putting in a whole block of road, which was only needed for fire access to a certain house, by covenanting to require a sprinkler system in that house. The sprinkler cost was a lot less than the street development would have been. Sometimes fire departments will allow an emergency route that is visually blocked, but with some sort of knock-down barrier that could be sacrificed in a fire emergency. Here at RoseWind, our site allowed an arrangement where all homes are reachable by vehicle, the general effect being a central car-free commons, with homes sort of around the edges, with vehicle access from the perimeter. We still had to deal with the fire engine "hammerheads" etc. for turn-arounds. Contrary to those who predict the instant demise of community if you can drive to your door, we have found it to do no harm, and to be very convenient. Hip surgery, older folks, sleepy children, sacks of groceries, flats of plants, rain, running late -- it helps to drive right close. Cars in the driveway are just another of the clues we have -- like lights on--- that tell us who is home, has visitors, etc. Doesn't mean we don't walk around the neighborhood, chat with friends, or have nice gardens. It may not be your choice, but it is an option which can work. I remember on a visit to Nyland noting that the pedestrian path between two rows of houses was supposed to also serve as emergency vehicle access. While I could imagine an ambulance driving over various plantings, it was harder to imagine it driving overthe dozen tricycles, wagons, bikes, etc which were all along the path. Consider whether your plan not only meets the technical sign-off regulations, but how it might really work. Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA We just had a weekend workshop for the group with Rob Sandelin -- we old dogs (almost 10 years now) still have tricks to learn. Plenty of useful observations and practical things to try out to smooth our process and build our community. Rob's been at so many cohousing groups, you'd swear he'd been listening in on your own group's meetings over the years. Recommend him very highly to groups new or old.
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