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Silly question

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CynthiaER
7/17/2019 16:33 EST

OK, this IS a silly or weird question, but it's about something I've noticed since I've been here ...

Why are all the curbs so high? We live in Manizales, and I was noticing it here, but it also seems to he the case in Bogotá. Those are the only 2 cities I've been in so far.

But the curbs are really high. I mean, it seems that in many places they're almost as high as a step on a staircase!

Has anyone else noticed this? And any idea why?

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mattinnorfolk
7/17/2019 16:52 EST

Great question, I wonder if it’s because the way the rain comes down so hard sometimes.

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CynthiaER
7/17/2019 17:28 EST

Matt, I had a similar thought!

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CAtoMDE
7/17/2019 19:04 EST

It is because everything has been hodge-podged in for decades and in some cases centuries and not planning or pre-thought about future anything so when a stretch of road for example get some sidewalk or curbs installed the elevation of the street and house floor level is a nightmare.

I have seen areas in my small pueblo outside of Medellin where after they installed the curb and sidewalk it now has backward drainage into the front door because the curb/sidewalk has been pulled in towards the house to accommodate at least a single path of one way vehicles, not to mention the continual problems when the larger trash trucks and delivery trucks need to make a turn, sometimes the traffic gets backed up for a block or two.

In my past life I managed the development of large scale multi-family, hotels, condos and commercial in primarily the Los Angeles area and I have spent years among-st sitting with some of the best city planners and traffic engineers, oh how they are needed here on the road systems and timing of lights and understanding the way traffic flows in order to make optimal use of the existing road system and how to best make improvements.

Now the reality of these high curbs is that my car has pushed in on each side the bottom exterior side panel under the door because when I have made turns on narrow roads I don't consider that the curb height in places exceeds 20" to 24", I kid you not, and so I rub against the curb and damage my cars undercarriage.

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tubes
7/17/2019 20:49 EST

I suspect that the curbs are made high to prevent vehicles climbing onto the pavements.
They are well cut away where there is a driveway or an entrance.

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CynthiaER
7/17/2019 20:57 EST

Tubes, that's also a good point, and one I hadn't thought of. Given the way people drive here, it makes sense!

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tubes
7/18/2019 07:21 EST

I think that is why they are made of fairly sharp blocks and not rounded off.
The rebuilding of the upper part of Avenida Santander is a good example, where the old pavements had been badly broken up by delivery vehicles driving onto them. Not any more.

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Elexpatriado
7/18/2019 09:35 EST

Manizales is worse thanmost places. Because of the hills..probably . Harder to keep them low to the street when it as ata 20% grade

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peterv123
7/18/2019 12:48 EST

I think the high curbs are from a combination of things. Maybe starting from the times of horse and buggy. The united states was built around the car so our roads and streets are car friendly. Maybe from inertia, they are slow to change, and also it is probably cheaper to keep making the curbs the same here. They do not have or need expensive, advanced machinery to pour the typical curved curbs we are used to. Also possibly to handle the vast amount or rainwater. I have seen it rain in biblical proportion here and 15 minutes later there are no puddles. In the Chicago area where I am from our modern streets would still be somewhat flooded in some areas.

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Electricista
7/18/2019 17:21 EST

I also believe it is related to historical floods. Both in Santa Marta and Barranquilla I had experienced floods and thought, as I was traversing the water, that the sidewalks were just high enough to keep the pedestrian out of the lake or river on the street. In Barranquilla the flood was sweeping taxis down the hill but the sidewalks were just high enough.

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tubes
7/18/2019 18:39 EST

Here in Manizales there is also the question of parking on very steep hills.
Drivers turn the front wheels in to the curb to stop the vehicle from rolling.
A high curb-stone holds them in place.

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Elexpatriado
7/19/2019 13:26 EST

I knew it had something to do with the hills

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