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# City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

## City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

(OP)
CTV News

--
JHG

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

His solution does look a bit wonky, but at least he got their attention.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

How do you get from $500 to$150k?

1) ADA. If there's no way a wheel chair is getting down that there is no way the City can have anything to do with it.
2) Liability. If someone slips and falls on a muddy hillside after climbing over a guard rail to get there, the City is probably OK. If someone slips and falls on stairs, the City may not be OK.
3) Permanence. Those stairs look like they will last maybe 10 years, probably less before, the stairs are loose from the stringers. Near the end of that life, see Step 2.
4) The Guard Rail. I presume it is there to serve some function and is probably to avoid a problem with Step 2, even if there was no muddy hillside, someone decided it was needed to prevent a Liability claim.

Near to me is a Convention Center and a nearby Hotel. Between them is a flood ditch with levee walls to keep any floodwater in it. It makes about a 6 foot rise from the general elevation on each side. Across the ditch and walls is a bridge with concrete stairs. Neither the Convention Center nor the Hotel claim it. As far as they are concerned it just appeared out of nowhere. It's concrete and about 30 feet long. Because it doesn't belong to either party in some clear way there is no ADA problem and no Liability problem. It's fairly permanent, so that's nice, and it doesn't circumvent any safety barrier. For the conventions I attend and which basically rent both facilities, the convention hires a driver to make the lengthy detour that is required to go between the buildings for those with mobility problems, who would otherwise have a quarter mile excursion that this bridge cuts to about 600 feet. If either party did claim it, they would be on the hook to provide local transport.

That 200 feet claim is garbage. He knows that's each way, so it's a 400 foot detour. I doubt the Mayor would like to park his car 200 feet from his house every day.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

How do you get from $500 to$150k?

Just look into article: "We’re looking at options and were going to have a solution in the near future"

Committee of highly skilled professionals "exploring options" for a few months and you won't have anything left for materials and labor.

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

(OP)
3DDave,

Firefighters rescue woman at Albion Falls.

The city of Hamilton is nearby Toronto. The city is tired of rescuing people and picking up bodies, so they are fencing this off.

--
JHG

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

They should just charge a ridiculous fee like they do if they have to airlift you out of the grand canyon.

I am ok with the steps if they get tore down or that they were shoddy. He won just by pointing out how ridiculous their estimate was. There are probably a lot of plush jobs like this that are going to friends of whoever is in charge.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Looks like the new estimate is \$10,000.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

The news article didn't show a complete picture. It's got some pretty serious trip hazards.
> no actual access at top, so parking lot railing needs to be re-done
> parking spot needs to be removed
> unclear what kind wood he used, but it doesn't look like it's treated at all
> posts are simply pounded into the ground, so termite and water damage potential
> his stringers are too close together; after about a year or so of use and rain, the treads will wobble

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

I wonder if they gave his lumber back. He could do some more civic agitating.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

I tried estimating the concrete for a fully ADA ramp, et al. 10 grand in materials was well above what I could scrape up.

I forgot the main reason for a high estimate: "We don't want to do this."

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

3DDave,
The article said this is for a shortcut into the park. There must be other gentler acccess points. Surely you don't need a ramp at every stair.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Is it an idea to install a rope from down to top so people can just climb? It does not look like a very steep slope. As provision for when its rainy, maybe pave the way with solid blocks (like rocks)...

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Looking at the original story, a rope is what was there in the first place - doesn't say whether the sixtyish year old who broke her hand was using it.

A.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

hokie66,

There's a shortcut around the Mississippi as well, but the I-70 bridge is more convenient than going through Canada.

Anyway, I'm going out on a limb to say if people are willing to try a steep muddy hill hanging onto a rope, that the route must be so preferred over the gentler approach that including ADA (though this is Canada, so who knows what the specific rules are) suitable accommodations would be a nice thing to do.

I think I found the parking lot. I don't clearly see the shortcut, but I see a garden that shows up in many other pictures. The item of interest is where all the cars are parked - none are near the paved path. Most are near the garden.

(On the map it's Tom Riley Park at the intersection of Bloor St. W and Aberfoyle Crescent.)

The problem isn't getting into the park, the problem is they have a compelling attraction that has poor access.

There seem to be other compelling attractions in these parks that are cause for concern. Dopey dogs

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Maybe if there were a demand for a ramp, the city would listen. But I doubt many people in a wheelchair would want to participate in the community garden. The users of the garden seem to be happy now, so that is what matters.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Somewhat in line with 3DDave's notes, I had been involved in government funded projects for things at a prior employer. The additional cost to ensure that every dollar is accounted for, not disappearing into the pockets of unscrupulous mid-level contractors, plus the additional fees to inspect the works at what is more than the normal number of inspections is surprisingly large.

I'm not saying that the apparent disparity in costs here is appropriate, but there is certainly a cost in government works, and it is often far higher than what average joe expects it to be.

IRStuff is also correct, it appears to be exactly what it is, a simple stairwell constructed by a homeowner without consideration as to durability or usage requirements.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Here's a slightly better view from Bing Maps. It likes from this vantage point there there are multiple ruts in the vegetation where people have taken a shortcut to get to the garden, presumably.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

is the garden people want to visit the area on the right side (per caption)?

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

I assume so, otherwise, there wouldn't be a shortcutting of about 480 ft, one-way, to get to the access point on the left side of that image to the edge of the garden.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Looks like a good example of urban designers ignoring desire paths.

Steve

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Have blue marked on the picture what looks to be an access point (or possibly not)? Any clue?

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

rotw,
I don't think your last photo is relevant. Your first one shows the area of a joint community garden, where folks grow some vegetables. There is a gradually graded access point on the left side of that photo, but it is the long way around. So naturally, some of the garden users found a more convenient, albeit a bit dangerous, way of getting down to their patch. Now they are getting a proper stair.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

rotw,

The intended access point seems to be at the far end of the parking lot from the garden where the paved path goes. The well-worn path is at the garden after hopping over the parking lot guard rail.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

hokie66, 3DDave,

(just for the fun...)

My point was this: there are three paths A, B and C to get to the park (I just made an arbitrary destination in the park). Going via the path C is a long way. B is a short cut (where the stairs are).
But path A does not seem to be a long way either.

So still not even warm, or completely freezing? :)

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

I'm not even sure what you are trying to do. The shortcut is from the parking lot at the bottom right of image to the garden, just above the parking lot, which is downhill from the parking lot. The long way to the garden is to walk to the extreme right of the parking lot and walk all the way back on the grass to the garden. All the paths you've drawn are seemingly irrelevant to the problem at hand.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

IRstuff,

I thought that the garden is not the main attraction! and that most of the users who are parking their car there, were essentially visitors of the whole park. But apparently the stairs are just about getting to the garden...Fair enough... There must be something very special in that garden !

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

That garden looks like a set of allotment plots. Gardeners go there, park, and then trundle down the hill to weed and water their veggies. The stairs were likely a big help, but of course anything on city property has to be "safe", even if it makes an unsafe condition which is clearly being used frequently by the public, safer than it was.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

rotw,
It might help, in future, to read some of the explanations given before continuing to question. The point here is access to the VEGETABLE GARDEN, as I think everyone except you knew, at least from the time when 3DDave started posting the overhead photos.

IRstuff,
If you are going by your B route, you could park at the other end.

hokie66,

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

Sure 50% reduction is better than nothing, but nowhere close to a 95% reduction.

Additionally, there are probably other factors involved:

> When have you worked in a garden and not needed to carry stuff to/from somewhere else? Carrying a couple of baskets of goodies a couple hundred feet will get tiring for lots of people. Not to mention tools like hoes, shovels, and supplies like fertilizer, mulch, etc.

> Being in North America, there's bound to be an element of thumbing one's nose at authority, particularly one that says you can't just walk down the hill to get to your garden.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

rotw,
Thanks. Right back at you. On a forum of engineers, we are all expected to understand the problem before developing the answers.

### RE: City working on replacing Etobicoke man's homemade stairs at park

What an arrogant stance.
I went through this thread taking things with a grain of salt, on the one hand considering safety issue with gravity but on the other approaching the thread with fun and amusement. I read the explanations and I was questioning to understand again with a tonality of fun.
You want to educate me and lecture and make personal judgment on intellectual failure. Then fun off.

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