Beyond being "claustrophobia inducing spaces to crawl around or get trapped in to increase tension in an episode" why are there so many small tubes* (crawlways) in Federation** ships?
- Having to crawl while dragging a tool box is an incredibly inefficient way to move.
- In the real world, having to drag a tool box into the crawl space under my house is a major pain in the neck (and other body parts).
- Having a separate tube for maintenance access next to a hallway or room is a very inefficient use of space.
- Everything inside these tubes is behind an access hatch of some sort, so putting the hatch on the other side and making it accessible to a hallway would make installation and maintenance much easier on all concerned.
To be clear, I'm wondering if there is an in-universe reason for this design aesthetic since realistically it seems so very impractical. Out-of-universe, I get that it's great as a plot device.
* I thought they were all called Jefferies Tubes, but it seems those are only the ones that go to the warp engines
** This isn't just limited to Federation ships, it seems the Cardassians designed Terak Nor/Deep Space 9 with a plethora of these little crawlways, too.