Scaffolds Raising the New York City Skyline are Raising Concern

New York City sidewalk sheds (the open scaffolds you walk under) are well on their way to becoming as synonymous with the Big Apple as hot-dog carts and yellow-taxi cabs. With the influx of construction, NYC sidewalk sheds and scaffolding have devoured thousands of streets and have become more than just an eyesore for residents; they’re safety hazards.

According to the Department of Building, there are currently 9,000 sheds on the city’s streets, up from 3,500 in 2003. Although many attribute the rise in sheds and scaffolding to the boom in construction, the underlying reason lies within city legislation. Thirty-six … Read the rest

New York City Launches International Design Competition For A Safer, More Appealing Sidewalk Shed of the Future

Sidewalk sheds are typically wooden structures (nowadays usually painted blue) built over public space to protect pedestrians during construction activity. Walking around Manhattan while trying to avoid walking under a sidewalk shed can be a true challenge. There is currently more than 6,000 sidewalk sheds installed and in use today at New York Citys buildings and construction sites, spanning more than 1,000,000 linear feet.

A lawyer for insurance companies once told me that because he has defended so many cases in which a pedestrian or construction worker was injured due to a collapse or other calamity involving a sidewalk shed, … Read the rest