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Breaking the Weaver Street Rules-
It's not as hard as you think!

What's wrong with the picture below? A mother sitting at the table, a few cups and plates on the table, stroller, chairs.... not much but she was reprimanded by the Carr Mill Security force for an infraction which up to this point in time had been relatively unknown to the thousands of Weaver Street patrons.

Sure. We all know it's wrong to dance on the grounds and that Hoopers were on the verge of having their rhythmically gyrating hips permanently banned, but what could the infraction in the picture possibly be? If you were a good patron of the Carr Mill/Weaver Street United Meeting Place and Town Center you would take the time to read the "Weaver Street/Carr Mill Governing Rules Handbook", a 200 page pamphlet(freely distributed by Weaver Street at the Courtesy Desk) with 9,024 rules, ranging from the relatively obvious to the completely obscure.

The picture above clearly depicts that rule 8742(ii) is being violated. "Patrons of Weaver Street Market Cafe may not double-up any square metal, circular based tables in a direction perpendicular to the building. Said square metal, circular-based tables may be doubled up in a direction running parallel to the building, if and only if said metal square circular tables are in direct contact with the black roofpaper-like stuff below the windows. Said square metal, circular-based cannot be touching in any way, means or form the vertical aluminum support sections".

After being reprimanded for doubling up the tables perpendicular to the building The Carrboro News went to the Courtesy Desk and picked up a copy of the regulations. Sure enough, it was a valid rule infraction that we had infracted, and not some ridiculous infraction made up on the spot by the Carr Mill Security Forces. Upon being advised of the infraction, the Carr Mill Security Force representative stated that the reason was that the doubled up table was a liability to pedestrian traffic flow and could cause massive human pile ups as groups of people would pile up as they had to divert from walking 5 abreast to only 3 abreast so they could pass the infraction ridden doubled up table.

Not to sound like we were nit-picking, but this rule appeared to be somewhat ridiculous, even if it was written in the Governing Rules Handbook. Normally, The Carrboro News would leave it at that, since any further investigation would waste our time, but something struck a raw nerve here. If an infraction affects someone else, then reporting is good enough, but if it affects us personally, then an investigation is called for.

We called in a good friend who happened to be a Pedestrian Flow expert to come down to Weaver Street and look at the set up. We reenacted the crime, carefully doubling up the tables in the exact same spot as we had the first time. The Pedestrian Flow expert, meticulously viewed the crime scene from every angle, using his expertise to see if he could visually imagine groups of 5 abreast pedestrians bottlenecking at the table. His final report was a revelation to all, even those who never even thought of the ramifications of doubling up tables and the possible results.

"I see absolutely no problem with the traffic flow." He began, rubbing his chin very much like a psychiatrist examining his hypochondriac patient for the first time. "People coming out the door will be entering the exterior walkway in single file as they can only walk out the door in single file, while people walking down the walkway can only walk two abreast or they run the risk of the third person bumping into the massive wood support columns every 10 feet. Once they arrive at the infractured table, there is room to walk 3 abreast, so there is clearly no restrictive tendencies of doubling up. As a matter of fact, the doubling up of tables actually helps the traffic flow. With only singled up tables pedestrians can walk four or five abreast. When they arrive at the door they must break down into single file- this is a PBR(Pedestrian Breakdown Ratio) of 4:1 or 5:1, clearly having the potential of causing a major bottle neck at the door. In most cases when planning Pedestrian walkways we like to work with a PBR ratio of 2:1.

"If the pedestrians are coming from the direction of the shopping carts and are walking 2 abreast(or 3 with one pedestrian hitting the massive wooden supports every 10 feet), once they arrive at the door we have a PBR of 2:1(which is acceptable) or 3:1 which is marginally so, but if they continue to go straight past the infractured table we have a PBR of -2:5(or -3:5). This can cause a very dangerous situation as negative PBR's tend to lead to confused pedestrian traffic flow patterns.

"Therefore, it is my view that the problem actually lies in the tables being single-upped and to rectify what could have grave pedestrian flow consequences, my suggestion is to permanently double up the tables along the southeastern front facing wall the the Weaver Street Market building."

Please vote below so that we can send a message to Carr Mill that protest the inability to double up tables.

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