Here’s a test. Take a look at this spectacular hiking video that will make your heart race and then compare it with the structure from the East Bay shown below. Which is scarier? Now, hold on, just imagine living in such an apartment during the next Big One. The Northridge Earthquake back in 1994 showed us how people living in buildings with soft stories live and die in L.A. Mayor Newsom is using the bully pulpit to get out the word that some buildings in town need retrofitting now.
On the other hand, some don’t wish to “dive into” fixing things right now, perhaps preferring instead to wait until after an earthquake? Did “politics” hamper the push to get people to do what they ought to on their own, alleged by tenant advocate and artist Debra Walker in this concise report from Carolyn Tyler?
Click, ever so gently, to expand:
By seismophobic MaryMactavish, who can’t imagine it would take more than a 5.5 or 6 on the Hayward Fault to bring this building down, via Flickr
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Mr. Newsom reminding building owners of their abnegation. What’s that? You want the city to pay to fix your house? Of all the uses of a home equity loan, retro-fitment for the next shake would seem to be the best choice.
Quake safety is an obligation, is it not? Read the spiel and then decide.
Executive Directive 08-07
Seismic Strengthening of Soft Story Buildings
1. Expedite completion of the soft-story component of the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) initiative, including the development of retrofit guidelines for soft-story, wood-frame buildings.
2. Expedite immediately and waive fees for projects that include seismic strengthening and related Planning Department reviews of soft-story buildings
3. Increase outreach and awareness on the importance of seismic strengthening
4. Create a soft-story, wood-frame exercise scenario in the October 2008 Citywide emergency drill