The Wonders of Brooklyn

My car was smashed into this weekend by a hit-and-run driver while it was parked. The driver seriously bunged up the back and gave me a flat. I took the car to the tiny, Mexican-run tire shop my friend recommended. They got a new tire on my car in less than twenty minutes, and they did it in this "garage":

Yes, their entire "workspace" is defined by that orange garbage can outside their shop, with which they grab a parking spot on a very busy street. They won't move it unless you drive up and honk, and then tell them you are their customer. The guy replacing the tire today then moved the can about a foot outside that solid white line you see above: and that defined his working room. He changed my tire with the traffic passing about two feet behind his back.

I don't think that meets OSHA regulations, and the grab of a parking spot certainly is outside the letter of NYC parking regulations. But the Brooklyn police are remarkably tolerant of such arrangements: if the locals find they work, the police will pretty much leave them alone.


  1. Anonymous8:43 PM

    Man, that sucks. My car got keyed right before the election (RP sticker, I'm guessing), but I have a new car now and somebody already put a small ding on the door.

    When I was 16 I got into an accident (it was mostly my fault, but I was rear-ended). My bumper (remember those) was bashed in and I was afraid of what my father would say. As me and the other guy were finishing up the exchange of info, from across the street came a guy of unknown ethnicity offering to fix it for some super cheap price.

    All they did was connect a chain to my bumper and then to the frame of an old Cutlas Supreme (70s), and then use the Oldes to pull the bumper back out. You couldn't even tell other than a small scratch on the bumper. The other guy involved in the accident never followed up (because I never pursued him and he knew that he probably would have been deemed at fault).

    My father never found out until a few years later, and he didn't even believe me.

    (FYI, you might want to blur out your license plate in that pic)

    1. What's all this about the plate?

    2. Anonymous4:21 PM

      I don't know how private a person you are. Granted, it's currently illegal for civilians to run a license plate, but there are a few people who work for various agencies that owe me favors. Of course, you don't have to worry about me, and there are probably other ways to go about it.

    3. Ok, but if they ran it, then what? I'm trying to figure out what I should worry about.

    4. Anonymous5:34 PM

      Have you ever received a death threat from some yahoo on the internet? I have, and I'm not even a public figure, I'm just some guy that comments a lot. Now I go out of my way to ensure that my address isn't readily available, such that I had to go through all of the people-finding websites to get my current info removed. Though I'm sure there are a few still out there that I've missed.

      Granted, you're not Justin Bieber, but you're still a public figure.

  2. Anonymous3:35 PM

    As you know, I work in the construction/demolition industry, which is probably the most regulated industry by OSHA, so I need to know just about every regulation (esp. Parts 1910 and 1926).

    There actually is no regulation dealing with that case, it's not in Part 1910 (the general provisions), and although 1926 does deal with working on the road, it is exclusively dealing with barriers, signage, hi-viz apparel, etc; for road construction (thus it wouldn't apply in this case). Most of the other Parts of the OSHA regs deal with administration and specific cases, none of which would apply to this case.

    Obviously, there are other agencies such as DOT and local agencies that have certain provisions, but since OSHA took the lead on worker safety, most of these provisions are merely recommendations without the force of law. It all gets pretty convoluted, trust me.

    Obviously, I like to tell stories from my own personal experience, so here's another one:

    I was recently working on a demolition project in Squirrel Hill Tunnel in Pittsburgh. This tunnel is two lanes heading each way. During our work we would close only one lane with the adjacent lane open to traffic. So I was working within a few feet of traffic, except this traffic was traveling at 70 mph. Most guys did not want to work on this project at all, and many of them that did only did so for a short time (they begged and pleaded to get out of it). No doubt many of these guys were scared out of their wits, and rightly so, because the only thing between the workers and traffic was this:

    The kicker is that we've only just completed the inbound tunnel, so I get to head back to Pittsburgh in the near future for another 6 months of hair-raising fun working in the outbound tunnel.


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